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Us 73, America 43, Nasa 42, U.s. 24, United States 18, Obama 17, Mars 15, National Farmers Union 12, California 8, Sacramento 6, Minnesota 6, Doug Peterson 5, Mr. Peterson 5, Florida 5, Margaret 5, Alexander Saltman 5, Philadelphia 5, Msl 5, Ethan Rome 4, Minnesota Farmers Union 4,
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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    August 6, 2012
    8:00 - 1:00am EDT  

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agree completely on an issue, there is a refusal to say let's get it done. >> a few moments, the opening meeting of the democratic national committee drafting committee. in more than two hours, a briefing on the mars rover curiosity. then a look at the future of private commercial space flight. >> day, an interview with the author of "hitlerland." >> no idea, and despite all the time i spent in germany, i had not spend time thinking about what it would have been like to be a cars find -- to be a correspondent there in the 1930's. >> sunday at 8:00 on c-span.
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>> democratic platform drafting committee met in minneapolis for several days in july. the committee is responsible for preparing an initial draft that will be considered by the full platform committee this weekend. this part of the first day is two hours. >> now, before we begin, let us rise and say the pledge of allegiance to our flag. please join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which a sense, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. please be seated. i want to thank each of you for joining us today. i know we are excited to be here
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and to tackle this important task that we have before us. as you may know, every four years the democratic party assembles a platform that outlines our party's final positions on a host of different issues. this document also highlights the administration's accomplishments and the president's agenda to keep our country moving in a forward direction. today we are having our formal meeting where we will begin the process of drafting the initial draft of our 2012 platform. before we get started, i would like to ask all of the drafting committee members to just take a moment introduce themselves, and we will begin at my left. andrew grossman. >> i am the assistant policy
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director at the obama campaign. >> carlos odio. >> professor at stanford law school. >> donna harri-aikens. >> i am deputy chief of staff at the afl-cio. , barbara lee, ninth congressional district of california. >> michael nutter, mayor of the city of philadelphia. >> i am the secretary of the democratic national committee. >> i had the privilege of serving in congress from the state of florida and currently serve as president of the center
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for middle east peace. the'm a senior fellow at center of transatlantic relations, johns hopkins university. >> i'm heather miller. >> patrice taylor. >> and i am helping to write the platform. >> and i am ted strickland, former governor of ohio. it is my pleasure to serve with such remarkable people, and i am certain that your expertise will be invaluable as we proceed with this important task. there are members who were not able to join us today. tony coelho, governor patrick --
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governor deval patrick, the chair of the 2008 platform committee, and we know that the governor is a leading voice for making the country better place to live, work, and raise a family. then there is congressman barney frank, who was unable to join us at this time, congressman frank will be able to join us later today. also seated with us are three individuals giving staff support throughout this weekend. you have heard from them, andrew in, and patrice taylore. patrice is the director of the dnc office a party affairs and
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delegate selection. also joining us is a very important person, and i will depend on our parliamentarians, mcfaddene, who will help us as we negotiate our way to this platform. the purpose of this hearing is to solicit testimony from individuals and organizations regarding the content of the party's 2012 national platform. each speaker will be given five minutes, and i will repeat that. each speaker will be given five minutes for a formal statement, and following those statements, there will be a period of questions that will come from the committee members themselves. we had a busy and a compact
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hearing scheduled for the day. each presentation will be aimed, and will be times, and the speaker should adjust their remarks, please, to fit that time schedule. we are now ready to begin with our first presenter, and it is my great pleasure to present as our first presenter sister simone campbell. are pleased to have her who is the executive director of network catholic social justice lobby. she is with us, and network 's thousands of members it work to influence and next -- and inspire our elected officials is. network is active in critical issues such as health care,
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comprehensive immigration reform, housing, poverty, and hunter. sister, we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. i want to say at this moment in our history it seems to me we are engaged in a struggle that is much bigger than just the election cycle, and i think the platform needs to reflect that. we are engaged in a struggle for the soul of our nation, and the choice to me is clear -- will we choose to continue the unpatriotic lies we as a nation are based in its extreme individualism, where those who have can claim even more, and where those who do not have are blamed for being irresponsible? or will we choose to return to the spirit of our founders and a brace their concept -- we the people. it is we the people that is our constitutional framework, promoted for more than 200
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years, and it is this vision that must be made clear creek get a vision where each person exercises their responsibility to participate, and as the president said, we each agree to have each other's backs. this means we have the internet connections and our society. no one can get wealthy without the work of thousands of other fellow citizens. it is a hot political topic, but no one can even get to work without the work of people who have built roads or mattress. the janitor and the ceo's office -- we are interdependent.
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helluva -- we are one nation together, and this time is desperate we realize that. so far, we have been fairly successful at being divided by fear of violence, the weak economy, fear of the future, fear of each other. fear drives us to individualism and isolation as we try to control the uncontrollable. but i as a christian know that jesus counseled fear not, these are the words that we need to believe. recently you may have heard i lead a nine-state bus tour to 31 communities to lift up the works of catholic sisters, speaking out against the ryan house budget, and demonstrate what it means to have each other's backs. the matt hunters of people hungry, learning to find a way out of fear, not just words or
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games. we saw one of four partnerships were catholic sisters and their collaborators used federal dollars as cornerstones for amazing work in low-income communities, and we saw a person after person, group after group who have benefited from these amazing programs and who are not intruders that everywhere we saw evidence that these responsible programs use reasonable federal money to serve the needs and create relationships that nourished communities. these are the sorts of responsible will press responsible partnerships. i came to know a large percentage of folks served by these programs are working at least one job. they are not the unemployed or the lazy that many would want us to think they are. they are hardworking people trying to serve their families. many face the situation that billy in milwaukee faces. he has enough food in his down
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sized salary to either put food on the table or a roof over his head. his family's had. he and his wife chose to refer to the families of the kid could stay in the same school. every evening they could to send -- st. benedict's danny room where they get nutritious food, and what you might say the dining room was getting sherry, they were also getting a subsidy. . .
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>> she would have been covered under the medicaid expansion under the affordable care act. but expansion is a pro-life choice. margaret didn't have that option. margaret was without care and so at 56 she died of colon cancer. her family came to our event directly from her memorial service. i carry her picture now in my bible because we cannot let her
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die. this is not who we are as nation. we need to learn this sort of program is a mutual benefit for all of society. we all do better when margaret don't die. if we're going to be the nation our founders envision, we must be held by the decisions we made. this means we each have to have an obligation to contribute building up our society. to do this, merous have each other's back. this is what it means to form a more perfect union. we've taken step towards this vision in the last four years. we have much further to go. all of us participate and contribute according to our ability. with that truth we will know we the people are alive and well.
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then we would have rereclaimed the soul of our nation. thank you. >> thank you sister. at this time, if there are questions from community members, we would be happy to entertain those questions. anyone? >> thank you so much. it's wonderful to see you. i was taught by the sisters of loretta. the values you enunciated are the democratic party values. thank you so much for being here. one question i wanted to ask in terms of those in the middle class. in this day in time, we seen so many people falling in the ranks of poverty. when we talk about the middle class, how do see us making sure this big tent party includes those who have not achieved middle class status but still
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want to see the american dream become real in their life? >> i think it's very important that we realize we're in this together and that the huge wealth disparities that exist at this point are driving us further and further apart. i think it's shocking that ceo salaries have gone up so dramatically where workers wages have stayed flat. if we're going to be seriously concerned about making sure people are in the middle class, they need to have salary increases. we need to pay a living " wage. everybody is working very hard to contribute something -- at least all the folks we met -- are contributing something to our society. but there isn't the valuing of that by employers or under the guys of the fragile economy couldn't possibly raise wages. to be effective in stimulating
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the economy and some of the programs that have been proposed, are all about lifting up increasing wages, get money to where there's pent-up demands. if there's pent-up demand, mention will -- folks will spend the money. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. thank you sister for your testimony. you mentioned a living wage a couple times. it's a really important concept in terms of the two different visions of the economy. could you talk a little bit what you think might be the steps for the united states to move towards a decent wage for working people? >> i think a crystal ball will be helpful to discern the details of that. we think that work is
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undervalued. physical labor is under valued. that understanding what each person contributes to the success of a business and creating kind of a proportional wage based on how much they're contributing might be helpful or even examining how much is cost to live. one of the things that's driving me nuts is that the current poverty level is still pegged at three times the cost of food. that probably defines the poverty level. the administration is trying to do sole alternative measures but the one that keeps being used in congress is the three times the cost of food. there's no accounting to what's happening to the cost of housing. let's have wages reflect actual cost in an area. having a youthful minimum wage for this country that's so
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diverse in cost of living, it may make for congress nice political fights but it certainly doesn't help in the different parts that families face. valuing work, being realistic about the different costs of living and then trying to really do something to peg reasonable salaries to inflation or to other escalators would make a lot of since. maybe everybody ought to get a piece of the action not just shareholders. >> thank you sister. i think speak for all of us. when we want to say thank you for your leadership, your moral leadership and those of the other sisters who are working across our country to try to make this a better land in which all people can enjoy the american dream. thank you so very much for being
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here. >> thank you so much. >> our next presenter is mr. doug peterson. representing the national farmers union. doug peterson is the secretary of the national farmers union board and he is the president of the minnesota farmers union. national farmers union is a national federation of state farmers unions which protect and enhances the economic well being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers and their communities by promoting legislation and educational beneficial to farmers and by developing cooperative buying and selling methods for these businesses. we're very happy to have you here and we look forward to your testimony sir. >> i'm honored chairman and also honored to be in front of an esteemed committee. i just want to thank you for
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your time and allowing me to be in front of you for national farmers union. my name is doug peterson. i come from western minnesota first generation farmers. we have 11,000 members also secretary of the national farmers union. i served in minnesota's legislature for six terms undefeated and elected to the minnesota farmers union presidency which i've done for ten years. i'm a former art teacher. we are really proud we're a grassroots organization. we've been in active policy sense 1902. our policy is written by farmers and ranchers and it comes from a grassroots level. we represent fishermen.
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our national and agriculture policy should engable farmers to increase significantly their income and improve the quality of life and increase the family farm numbers. production agricultural, i like to call it farmers, it's a primary economic driver of america. when farmers go well, agriculture prospers and the nation prospers. a more effective in fiscal responsible safety net is possible which will mitigate against weather and we are in the throws of drought. two-thirds of our country presently mitigate the weather and bad prices. crop insurance does a very good job of protecting farmers against poor yields and also assist in managing supply, stable commodities, could
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subsidize prices. grain will take the props of the peak of the price off and fill in the valleys which will help farmers which have been livestock producers, the biofuels and customers. supply management will make sure farmers receive the bulk of the revenue even in tough times from the market and not from government payments. a voluntary farmer reserve that operates under market forces during normal condition by moderates prices at extreme conditions that would allow these goals to be obtained. we are in extreme conditions ladies and gentlemen as you may know. beyond the market and weather anomalies and other threats faces rural america, average age of the u.s. farmer is rapidly increasing. the ability of the next generation to family farmers to continues to produce food and fiber is critical to the economic health and security of our nation and community. in order to address this
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concern, programs must be in place and funded in order to meet the unique needs. with special emphasis on military veteran and ensure enter livelihood. one thing we want to impress upon, inadequate market competition. that does go with the word concentration. that is what the most pressing issue is facing farmers and ranchers across this country. personally what i have seen in the '80s with the competition and the concentration piece. we need fairness and we need transparency and protection for
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bargaining rights for producers and farmers. the administration has been proactively investigating anti-trust violation and has held a series of workshops in 2010 that shed light on the issues. rules that would have better enforce the packers and stockyard act put forward but largely pushed back by lobbies and packers association. progress has been made in the last four years but much work still needs to be done to establish a fair marketplace. the sustainability of our economy both nationwide and in agriculture depends upon reliable financial system. despite the passage of dodd-frank act, the budget proposals maintaining fair air competitive market including
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commodity trading. the administration also has fought back republican attempts to undermine the new protections. the rules of the game has been strengthened but the referees need to make sure those rules are followed and make sure there is a fair -- i just want to say, you got to be able to play by the rules. national farmers continues to support strong actions to address the cause and consequences of climate change. we are the original stewards of land farmers. over the past several years, we have experienced increase in drought. wildfires and other evidence associated with climate change. one solution to our climate change problem is to mitigation. national farmers union supports carbon emission cab and trade system to reduce non-farm
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greenhouse gas emission. such a system constructed correctly holds tremendous promise for our country economic incentives. thus engaging in protecting future generations. while it is necessary to address the causes of employment change -- climate change our nation must adapt to change. given the proper incentives, family farmers and ranchers will be valuable partners in this challenge. the potential of our nation's vast agriculture lands produce renewable energy is tremendous. the economic benefits also to rural america. we need a balanced energy policy, a policy that seeks energy independence by 2025 and recognizing the special needs of
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american agricultural and its potential contribution. we at national farmers union strongly support rfs, renewable fuel stewards. we are making progress with investments in flex fuel technology but we must continue to explore the way to bring to the market more biofuels particularly the advanced blends. in order to meet the goals of the r.f.s. by 2022, we must continue to move in direction to reduce dependence on foreign oil. sound policy in the future of graduate -- agriculture will set us up for economic development. ladies and gentlemen i
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appreciate your attention. if you have any questions, i will be happy to answer >> we have a couple minutes for questions. >> mr. peterson, thank you for your testimony. i group up in a small town. i know what a difference it makes as well. i wanted to ask you a little bit what you think the roll of our schools can be. of course we've got tremendous commitment making sure that america has great education no matter where but rural schools also facing challenges. >> i actually been in the classroom for 12 years. i see the diminished funding as probably one of the most critical and most dangerous things that you can do to the american education. we don't provide adequate funding per pupil and the means to learn, we will have a failed society. we can't dummy down on education. how do you get that done? you make sure that the economy will be able to support the
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schools at the local level so that in rural america, you need to have a policy that will allow the taxes to be paid by those farmers that are making the money. the majority of the land is in rural america basically land-based taxes which supports the schools. funding, they're from the state and fed or local property taxes and then make sure that you don't skimp on this stuff. it hasn't changed anything. minnesota is woefully adequate. we are low in counselors in this state for students we need to put more money too those -- into those thing. we experienced education cuts. the bottom line is, they
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actually reduced educational funding. you can't reduce education funding and expect kids to learn. >> thank you mr. peterson. we appreciate your testimony and i personally love the farmers union. we have a union ohio farmers union and thank you for this testimony. >> have a good day. >> one more question from the mayor over here. >> mr. peterson, you maid as a -- you made reference to feeding the hungry around the world. it is certainly more than appropriate for the united states of america to help in a variety of instances whether it's a disaster or other aid that we provide. but i'm also concerned that we continue to feed the hungry across our country. i wanted to get your views on issue of the delivery system that helps to get food where it is most needed.
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there are children and parent who go to sleep every night in america who are hungry. congressional districts in the united states is in philadelphia. i want to make sure that we're focused on the issue of hunger in america and seek to eliminate hunger in the united states as we continue to provide the food and support around the world. >> first of all, the funding is about 72%. we need to make sure there's not cuts in nutrition. the delivery system is having the ability to make sure children and seniors, that nutrition program provides that it's adequately funded. there's going to be increases as you know in your city, for more food, more snap programs and the delivery system. the food desserts where you have
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the poor cityings, the inability to have farm fresh food. that has to change. you have to change the mentality of how the infrastructure works delivering it to inner cities. you must have incentives for farmers to do local foods. in not local then from the state and then if not from the state, then from the united states. if you can't get it from the local from state to the united states, maybe we can do the importing. just making sure that infrastructure is part to the nutrition piece. i don't know if you thought about that yet, but just getting that delivered to those food deserts in your city or minneapolis. we all experience those food desserts and local food is part of that. that's a part of our policy. >> we don't want to keep anyone from asking questions that maybe a question. we want to stay on track if we can.
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is there in the question and if so, we'll entertain it and if not, thank you sir. >> thank you very much, have a good day and good luck with all of your deliberations. >> our next presenter is ethan rome. ethan rome is the executive director of the healthcare for america now. it's a national coalition of more than 1000 groups from 50 states representing some 30 million people. healthcare for america now works to promote, defend, implement and improve the affordable care act at the state and federal levels. they work to protect medicare and medicaid. they work to increase corporate accountability and confront forces that seek to take away critical services. so mr. rome, we are happy to have you and we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you very much governor
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strickland and members of the committee. thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak this afternoon. as you know, in 2008, president obama and the democrats pledged to fix our broken healthcare system. that is exactly what they did. a remarkable thing in politics. on march 23, 2010, the president signed the affordable care act. the aca, the law which we call obamacare, is a monumental achievement that moves us closer to achieving the justice that is the promise of america. as you know, i think the law spans coverage to 30 million people. it brings peace of mind to middle class family who are just one injury or illness from
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crushing medical cost. it makes healthcare more accessible in rural and urban areas. it put us on a path to controlling cost at a first time ever. the a.c.a. is improving medicare for seniors. saving them hundred of dollars a year in prescription drug cost. it's allowing young people to stay on their parents health plan. it's giving small businesses tax cuts to provide care for their own employees. it's helping all of us to be more healthy with no cost to preventive care. significantly on august 1st, this benefit expands to cover additional services for women. the a.c.a. bans distribution to 129 million people with preexisting conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. it ends insurance companies price gouging and other abuses like dropping you when you are sick. the affordable care act is the
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most sweeping piece of social and economic justice legislation since medicare and medicaid. these programs all fit together along with the labor movement, medicare and medicaid and social security helps create the middle class. they are the foundation of economic security and equal opportunity for america's families. the a.c.a. bridges the gaps in the protections of these programs. to help ensure that everyone gets the care that they need without risking bankruptcy. it is these vital programs that under attack by the republicans and ryan-romney budget. the republican plan would repeal the affordable care act dismantle medicaid and end medicare as we know to pay for corporate tax cut give away and tax cuts for the rich. every federal function would be slashed. the nation's entire safety net at risk. their budget promotes prosperity
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for the few instead of opportunity for all. it says we should be on our own. it makes a mockery of shared responsibility. the country faces real fiscal challenges. but the ryan-romney budget represents the prong priorities. it's a second rate plan for a first rate country. the democratic platform must explicitly reject the republican prescription for deficit reduction. that puts medicare, medicaid and the affordable care act on the chopping block especially to pay for tax cuts for the rich. the republican see every deficit negotiation as an opportunity to chip away at these programs. republicans want to turn medicaid into a block grant. replace medicare with vouchers.
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the democratic platform should say we don't want to do any of these things. not as part of a so called grand bargain guru a lame duck session or at any other time. democrats believe that medicare, medicaid and obamacare are not source of deficit reduction. either the backbone of the -- they are the backbone of the american dream. as president said we need to reduce the deficit in fair and balanced way. we should begin by reforming our tax code so it raises adequate revenue and start with asking wealthy americans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loophole. that's precisely what majority leader reid and the democrats in the senate did this week when they voted to end the busch -- bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. president obama has called on the house to do the same. it will be on the way to his desk if it were speaker pelosi instead of boehner who were in
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charge. this isn't just a matter of principle. it's how we fairly pay some important things like the affordable care act. the 2008 democratic platform outlines a bold vision for affordable quality health coverage for all americans. it's remarkable to read this document and look at what has been accomplished since. in the battles ahead, democrats must protect the healthcare program. thank you very much. >> thank you mr. rome for your testimony and now are there questions? i see a question. >> yes thank you for coming. could you talk little bit more about how the a .c.a. and how the safety net actually hurt kids as they are preparing to go into school and obviously a.c.a. helped them stay on their
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parent's health plan. >> there's two things to say about that. the first when we talk about adult children, the a.c.a. allows as you know, for adult children to stay on their parents health plan from 19 to 26. in this economy, that is a critical protection since it is harder for people to find jobs. as for children, one of the -- two most important thing you can do is to make sure they do to school not hungry and not unhealthy. that's what medicaid is about and that's what's filling in the gaps what the a.c.a. does. >> thank you. >> yes. >> thank you ethan for your testimony. it you tell us a little bit, you
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spoke briefly about the a.c.a. on the budget deficit. >> i know it's shocking that the republicans periodically do not tell the truth about things. one of the biggest places is the affordable care act. the affordable care act reduces the deficit. most recently cbo said about $83 billion over the next ten years. it is a federal savings program in addition to a program that saves people's lives and helps businesses stay open. it's critically important when the republicans talk about repealing it but they do not talk about the fact that would increase rather than reduce the federal deficit. >> thank you so much for being here and for all you've done over the last four years. can you talk a little bit what repeal of the affordable care act would mean to middle class families across the country?
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>> for middle class families, people really are one injury or one illness away from bankruptcy. people learn -- they learn in the fine print of their policy that their benefits are capped annually. they learn when they get dropped, that their insurance doesn't cover what they thought. for middle class family, this is about making sure that people have the healthcare that they need. it's about making sure people aren't locked into their job because just because they want to keep their healthcare. the best thing has been done for entrepreneurs in the last two years. one of the best thing is the affordable care act. it makes it possible for people to take risks. for middle class family, this is a vital protection and it's the base for economic security.
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>> thank you very much for your testimony and your passion to ensure every american has access to affordable healthcare. also a.c.a. provides for creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to deficit reduction. could you comment however on the impact of the a.c.a. as it relates to the huge ethnic and racial disparities that we see now, even when you look at life expectancy rates, there's still these huge disparities that need to be addressed and how the a .c.a. will really help address many of these issues? >> everyday people learn new things about the affordable care act. because it is so comprehensive in what it does. one ever the thing i always use as abexample, there's $12 billion in funding for
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community health centers. which people only exist in urban areas. but it's one of the central ways that folks in rural areas get the care they need. providing people insurance is not enough as you know well. we need to make sure people have access to care. $12billion to expand and build new community health centers is good example what this law does. if that was all we did, we would be celebrating and talking about that now. there are more things we can do to address racial and other disparities. especially in health outcome. we are on long way from that and that's something we all have to work on. >> robert? >> with respect to seniors, would you just maybe take a moment to point out often times people talk about the closing of
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the donut hole in the bill. could you maybe share your experience in terms of what the benefit will be to seniors across the board by the closing of this donut hole? >> i believe the number right now, there are several million people who have saved on average of $600 a year already under the affordable care act. when we talk about how the affordable care act is already changing people's lives in the case of seniors, we're talking about discounts on prescription drugs and we're talking about the checks they received under the donut hole. seniors have to make choices about whether to put food on the table. do they get the care they need. this law already helping to make a difference in people's lives
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in that respect. >> thank you. >> you acknowledged the 2008 platform which spoke eloquently to healthcare. i actually have the 2004 and the 2000 platform. nonetheless what's so exciting about this accomplishment is for many cycles some of us participated too many of them, we have talked about healthcare but we've never actually accomplished this amazing dream. i'm wondering if you expand a little bit though. i'm excited about some of the preventive aspects and possibility not only for our citizens to be healthier but also for the potential of money saving for our entire economy by having a healthier citizenry and having longer lives and less pressure on some of our social
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safety net. >> i think -- one of the most significant things, this goes back to question about military class -- middle class family. there are 86 million of us in america who have benefited from middle class preventive care. we are no longer paying co-pays on our preventive care. that will make a substantial difference not just in people's lives but it improves health outcomes. prevention saves money. it not just about doing the right thing. one of the most important thing that we can do in the united states is to improve our preventive care so that we don't have among the worst outcomes of industrialized nations with the best medical care on the earth.
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>> other questions? well, ethan obviously your testimony has sparked a lot of interest. we thank you for you and we thank you for the good work you've been doing for the benefit of the nation. not only the democratic party but the nation. thank you so very much. >> thank you. >> our next presenter is mr. david harris. david harris is the president and the ceo of the national jewish democratic counsel. the national jewish democratic counsel focuses on educating democratic officials and candidates to increase their support for jewish domestic and foreign policy priorities. david, we're happy to have you and we look forward to your testimony >> thank you so much governor. good afternoon my name is david harris and i'm president and ceo of the jewish democratic national counsel. the core mission is to maximize
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jewish support. the united states and the democratic party has been a strong support of the u.s. and israel relationship. democratic platforms celebrated this important relationship. like wise, president obama has presided over a foreign policy based no small part based on special nation and importance with america's ties in israel. our unique relationship isen breakable commitment to security and common interest. as the president said, israel is ready to defend itself, so has the democratic party's platform ear after year. this year should be to different. four years ago, this party produced a platform that served as a blueprint for the president's platform. we should be well served to
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stick closely to a previous platform language and principles to be updated and expanded as necessary. as the new platform is drafted, we should recognize the important role israel, established democracy. as we seek to encourage democracy, we should also expand and strengthen our relationship with israel and work towards full integration into the middle east. it must be our expectation that new governments will commit to new governments will commit to
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on iran, the president obama has more extensive and meaningful. unfortunately iran's continue's its program. it has refused international efforts to meaningful engage and it is closer to nuclear weapon than ever before. we support actions by the president in congress to impose tougher sanctions. we must restate our policy that we will do everything necessary to prevent iran from producing a nuclear weapon. president obama said i will take no option off the table. that includes all elements of the america's perfect. members
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of our community strongly support of the broader issues of the democratic party. there's no demographic group today more pro-choice than our community. 90% of our community supports reproductive rights. the 2008 party platform was clear when it said, the democratic party strongly support roe v. wade and woman's right to choose safe and legal abortion. these words speak loudly and clearly to my community and stockily encourage you to reiterate and strengthen them of women's health services and providers in america. the american jewish community has been deeply frustrated by the war on real science. including among those who deny
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human contributions to global climate change. the words of our platform were received by american jews. my community is one of many that looks to our party for leadership on this issue and i ask that you reiterate the essential call. my community was also tremendously part of the discuss that president obama waged to successfully pass historic healthcare reform for our country. great weight was given to this vital and significant updated language should be afforded to this issue in the new platform. it is yet to be done to ensure that tens of million of americans receive the govern that they deserve. one other issue that president obama did is marriage equality. this is an essential issue of liberty and i'm hoping it will be squarely addressed in our party's platform. the american jewish community is
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more supportive of marriage equality than any other faith community with approximately 80% supporting it. i'm hoping in keeping with the president's support, our party will anchor the right to marriage equality. i'm deeply honored by the opportunity to testify before you today. i'm glad to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you david and are there questions? >> david thank you for your testimony and it's good to see you again. words are cheap so it's good to know this is a president that kind of followed through on previous statements and
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platforms unprecedented support for israel. standing up to israel at the u.n. this president's accomplishments in term of keeping his word on the unbreakable commitment to security israel. it's pretty clear for folks. i'm wonder if you can flush out one thing. it wasn't touched on quite in your testimony. events changing so quick. could you speak a little bit how see the peace play into israel future security as well as their identity as a jewish and democratic state? >> sure this is obviously something the president spent a great deal of time working on directly. it's something the advisors responsibility -- spent a lot of time. it's something we've heard israel's democratic prime minster saying it's something he
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wishes to do. in my mind, i think in the minds of many area jews, it's something that we hope happens. it's something the president has clearly expressed he hopes happens. he has said repeatedly that america it's in israel's interest. he will go anywhere, and any time to talk to the president and discuss it. he's put his money where his mouth is. he's tried very hard to move in process forward. i'm confident he will continue trying. this is something that's up to
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the parties themselves to negotiate. >> thank you very much for your testimony. there's no question that america's military and economic power are critical to advancing our interest in protecting our ally. other factors maybe at work. for example america standing in the world of culture and values. can you talk a little bit how these factors might affect our foreign policy? >> can you flush out your question more? >> what you mean to the extent that the united states is able to project culture that's compelling to the rest of the world, that it has standing in the world strong allies. how does that effect our ability that we carry out our goals in the middle east? >> i would u. u.s.-israel alliance are part of our values and it project our values to the world. showing our closeness with strong democratic ally in the
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east and building our alliance with other allies in trying to sanction iran. in fact, it'll part of our domestic values. marriage equality, gay rights. these are all common interest that we share with israel. we as jewish democrats, see many of our domestic democratic priorities in parcel with our love for israel as we see those shared values in our u.s .-israel relationship. we see a lot of this projected to our u.s.-israel alliance. >> robert? >> david you want to thank you for cord work -- extraordinary work you do. there's a well funded effort to
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reduce the vote count in on the democratic side in particular for president obama and the jewish community. just a couple moments ago to bolster what the essence of your testimony was. gallop came out newest poll numbers in the jewish community which has president obama gaining 68% to 25% for governor romney. again consistent with your testimony. i for one, actually believe we have an extraordinary record to run on in this case. i say and apologetically that president obama is the strongest president since harry truman. if you can elaborate quickly on a few points. fact that obama
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administration israel has received bombs for if the first time. in fact, we have engaged the largest military joint exercises in the history of state of israel under the leadership of president obama. maybe just quickly talk about president obama's personal engagement if you would in terms of the calamity that was avoided in the israelian embrace in cairo. >> think congressman in the industry that's called a softball. laugh -- you hit the nail on the head. the bunker busting bomb was not something he bragged about. something that would have been a political winner for the president to talk about that he realized it was more important to do it quietly and it later came out to the press years later. of it not a political act. it was a security related act that he wanted to help our ally
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israel. largest exercise ever after largest exercise ever, which is going to come in just a few months. the last thing you said was most telling, what he does in the most private moments when it's up to our president personally himself. when he personally intervene late on a friday light to save lives of israel diplomats. when israel asked for help to fight, he left the president all the response that america could muster in a region. he got on a plane to go to afghanistan and it was reported that the first question he asked getting off under the cover of dark next landing in afghanistan, are they on the ground. do they have everything they need. that's the first question he asked. you're break about your broader
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point. there's an incredible exercise under way. this is an issue that should be bipartisan. there's decades of history of u.s. and israel support not being a partisan issue. this is a cynical issue that's making it a partisan issue. what i'm asking us to consider in these pieces of platform not only the right thing to do and stand on record of achievement this president has amassed, it also helps to establish the fact in our testimony to push back to try to help deprive the other side from engaging what is deeply disturbing cynical effort to try to woo votes for political reasons. to try to turn this into a
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partisan thing. >> thank you. >> david, your testimony has been well received. we thank you for it and we thank you for the breadth of the testimony. we look forward to continuing to hear from you and members of your organization going forward during the next three months especially. >> thank you so much for this opportunity. >> our next presenter is dr. maya rocketmore. he is the chair of the board of directors of the national committee to preserve social security and medicare. this organization is one of the most effective and trustworthy sources for social security, medicare and medicaid advocacy in our country. the committee works for older americans who want our nation's health and income security programs secured for the future.
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have doctor we're happy to have you and we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. on behalf of millions members and supporters, i want to thank chairman strickland and all of the somebodies of the democratic platform k for your invitation to testify today. i also like to refer you to my written testimony in your development of your platform. i will use a few momentos make a few key points. first, i hope the platform of the democratic party not only defends critical social insurance program but consider language in support of several modest improvements that will modernize the benefit structure for certain groups. democrats can be proud of their history helping seniors live independent and dignified lives. democrats create social security, medicare and medicaid. democrats lifted millns of
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seniors out of poverty and retirement. this is no time to back away from that proud heritage. frankly, the american people don't want you to. in our polling, we have found across party lines, large majorities of voters, 77% overall, strongly reject cutting social security to reduce the deficit. they oppose all specific benefit cut that's are currently being talked about and say they will reward those who take a strong stand in favor of these programs at the polls. we all know that without social security over half of older americans would fall into poverty. while central to so many, social security benefits are modest mostly benefit is only $1229. that's about $15,000 a year. beneficiaries can't afford cuts
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especially preserves tax breaks for wealthy millionaires and billionaires. what is more cuts to earn benefits would dis proportionately hurt women of color. those who have benefited so much from this nation, pay their fair share. in fact, it fay roll tax -- payroll taxes were applied more fairly, sovereignty could be assured. we could pay for needed improvements that would help social security meet all needs of all americans. these improvements include providing social security credit for caregivers. improving survivor benefits,
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enhancing the special minimum benefit, strengthening the cost of living adjustment by adopting the c.p.i. for the elderly. restoring student benefits for children up to the age of 22 and offering equal benefits for same sex married couple and partners. at the same time we urge you to reject the myth that there are unpopular options for addressing sovereignty. we urge you to ending the program social insurance promise by privatizing for the benefit of wall street. increasing the retirement age is a cut. we ask you to reject. reducing the cost of living adjustments through the changed c.p.i., cutting benefits by altering the benefit formula. we ask you to reject all of those. in terms of medicare, 47 years ago next week, president
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johnsons built on fdr legacy by providing health security to older americans. before medicare, only 50% of seniors had health insurance and 35% of seniors lived in poverty. today medicare continues to be a central for middle income seniors. over half of medicare beneficiaries have annual incomes of less than $22,500. having guaranteed access to health insurance coverage is also beneficial for communities of color. two-thirds of african-americans and latinos have incomes below $22,000 and they make up a large their of those who have income below the poverty level. as a result, communities of color have a disproportionate stake in ensuring the future of medicare. the democratic party should
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support improving and strengthening medicare. lowering part b out of pocket cost for beneficiaries, offering free preventive services and reducing prescription drug costs. it's not enough just to protect medicare. that's why the democratic platform should support providing medicare coverage for hearing aid, as well as establishing an annual catastrophic cap on beneficiaries out of pocket spending for medicare covered services. unfortunately, the house passed gop ryan budget will take medicare in the wrong direction by ending medicare as we know it. privatizing it for the benefit of insurance companies. making it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors. cutting prescription coverage
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and prepreventive services and increasing the medicare medicare eligibility age to 67. we reject all of these proposals. the national committee believes moreover that the platform should insist that seniors and people with disability have access to high quality and affordable long term care services and support available at home and in the community. funding for those services is primarily provided for and paid for by medicaid which covers over 62% of all long term care services. medicaid remains a vital safety net and it is especially important also to communities of color. sadly, millions of existing medicaid beneficiaries will likely forgo needed medical assistance and become thicker in a proposal in the ryan budget to block grant medicaid became law. establishing a federal blended rate would also reduce medicaid
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payments to state. instead what's needed is the medicaid expansion enacted in thing a -- affordable care act. all states red and blue must cover all seniors. finally we are concerned that medicaid managed care may not be appropriate for individuals dully eligible for medicare and medicaid benefits. we urge you support peeling back these state demonstrations. in closing, democrats will win the confidence of american voters by being unapologetic defters on the tax against america social net. cutting benefits is not shared sacrifice. instead, ordinary americans want to know that someone is fighting for them, someone is standing up for them. as other middle class institutions like pensions and retiree health plans crumble.
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please, fight for them by drafting a platform that puts them first. thank you for this opportunity to testify. >> doctor, thank you for your testimony and we have some time for questions. are there questions? it appears -- we have some questions. >> thank you coming and actually all of your work the past few years particularly with the social safety net. as you mentioned, this is a critical factor and critical set of programs for middle class families, for low income families and quite frankly for all families across all generations quite frankly. but -- there's also a piece in the social security discussion around public service workers. in certain states, where there's
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a penalty within a social security system. i wonder if you can touch on that a little bit? public service workers penalized by the social security system -- >> government pension -- >> there has been an ongoing conversation about public service workers who actually teachers and others who might qualify for social security, who actually get a cut as a result of the benefit structure. so that has been an ongoing debate in congress. certainly one that has been a concern to the democratic party for a long time. it should be a part of any package that is taken up with regards to how we actually modernize the social security program. we make need -- need to make sure benefits adequate for all programs.
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>> thank you. >> thank you very much for that very powerful testimony. let me ask you one thing. often times, we forget that social security and medicare really provides quite a bit of assistance for the disabled. what could you elaborate about that in terms of the disable and how important social security and medicare is for the disability community. >> absolutely. when people think about social security, they think of it as a retirement program. social security has three primary benefits that's for retirees and it's for survivors. in the disability program, often social security is the only thing for workers who become disabled in the midst of their working career, they can actually get access to and support them in their disability. it's very important for people of all ages who become disabled.
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social security steps in to provide not on that disabled worker with income support but also their family members. social security disability is critically important for these families. >> thank you. are there any other questions? doctor thank you for your testimony and thank you for the wonderful work your organization does. >> thank you very much. >> we appreciate you being here. our next presenter mr. bill. bill is the political director of the southwest region counsel of the international brotherhood of carpenters. bill represents 500,000 union workers advocating for improve jobs and the protection of their rights. bill, we are very happy to have you and we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you mr. chairman. i'm honored to be here.
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i also serve as the director of social projects for the international union. on behalf the 550,000 members of the united brotherhood, i want to thank you for the opportunity to submit these comments for your consideration. payroll fraud comes in two forms. for instance, the intentional misclassification of employees as independence contractors, workers who get i.r.s. 1099 forms at the end of the tax year instead of w2s, paying workers off the books. violations not only encompass federal and state tax evasion, workers compensation fraud but includes racketeering, money laundering and mail fraud.
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payroll fraud is not limited to small construction projects. we find violations on public and private jobs, on residential, industrial, commercial construction, even happens in military bases like fort knox. these violations are not caused by confusion over definition of employment pease people know what they are doing. -- these people know what they are doing. where payroll becomes common, employers face prospect of losing their businesses if they don't join in. first they continue to lose work and employees draw unemployment, then unemployment taxes and workers compensation premiums go up in order to make up for the
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shortfalls leaving them even less competitive. in 1984 study by the i.r.s. found that 15% of employers misclassified employees as independent contractors and nearly 20% of construction employers did so. more recent state study found that 14 to 24% of construction workers in massachusetts are misclassified. 14% maine, 14.9% in new york and conservatively nearly 18% in illinois. 2007 study in new york city construction industry, the fiscal policy found that 25%, 50,000 construction employees were misclassified or paid off the books resulting in an estimated loss of $557 million
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in 2008 federal state and local taxes workers compensation payments and in healthcare cost shifting to local government. those numbers fail to reflect true frequency in the cost of payroll fraud. florida discovered that a billion dollars was through check cashing stores. that was an estimated loss of $400 million in taxes, 174 which would have gone to the federal government. always workers compensation premiums. clearly state, local and federal governments would benefit substantially if we recover those taxes that are owed.
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majority of states have recognized the problems created by payroll fraud. 33 states passed over 97 measures including law enforcement. states include california, colorado, new york, maine, oklahoma. these represent a broad political spectrum reflecting bipartisan cooperation as well as labor. following the lead of the states the united states department of labor has signed memorandums of understanding with the i.r.s. in 13 states to battle this problem. unfortunately, congress is lagging behind. new bills have been introduced not only to be obtained in
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partisan gridlock. we believe similar measures should be passed by the congress and include support in this platform. funding u.s. department of labor initiative, increase the number of wages to investigators to improve the sharing of information and cooperative of enforcement actions with the i.r.s. and states and provide grants to states for information and technology and other state initiatives to improve enforcement. support for amending the internal revenue allowing i.r.s. to issue regulations, eliminating the rule that allows cheaters qualify for the safe harbor that continue violating the law by not playing employment taxes and eliminating the industry practice of safe
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harbor that allows illegal behavior. my comment have addressed illegal practices in the construction industry but payroll fraud is all too common in trucking, restaurants, landscaping, home healthcare and hotel and elsewhere. honest business and taxpayers, is there a better protection for those who violate the law. hard working families will have more likelihood to realize the american dream. thank you >> thank you bill and the problem that you highlighted here is pervasive. i know it exist in ohio and probably every other state in this nation. thank you for your testimony. are there questions of bill before he steps aside? anyone? thank you so much sir
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>> thank you. >> well, the mayor is here and so it's my privilege to introduce our next presenter, mayor kevin johnson. mayor johnson is serving his second term as the their of sacramento, california. he's the first vice president of the national conference of black mayors. as mayor of sacramento, he's worked to improve public safety, increased economic development, champion excellence in education and he tackles issues affecting urban communities. mayor, we look forward with great enthusiasm to your testimony. thank you for being here. >> thank you very much. i want to thank everyone for giving your time for this very important issue. i know you have a 101 things you should be doing. one big thank you. i like to thank chairman strickland and the members of
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the committee for the opportunity to be here today. as the chairman mentioned mayor of city of sacramento and second vice president of u.s. conference of mayors and let me begin by just recognizing the leaders of the u.s. conference of mayors. i start off with our president, mr. michael nutter, good to see you. i guess you're wearing two hats today. phillies on the roll too by the way. >> like that. >> first vice president scott smith and ceo and executive director of the u.s. council mayors tom cochran. i would also like to acknowledge all the mayors who participate in the u.s. conference of mayors for their invaluable input. we represent 1300 cities and each the cities are over 30,000 and we are non-partisan body. think that speaks volumes to what we're trying to do in this country. i would also like to thank president obama for his leadership. he has given us as mayors,
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unprecedented access to the white house. he's allowed us to sit down to cabinet members and ways that haven't happened. the first lady came and addressed our body on a number of occasions. we as mayors are extremely thank.ful. we also want to thank the administration for their bold action. many successes in the first four years. we're just getting warmed up. we got a long ways to go. one of the thing that we did through the u.s. conference of mayors with week ago, we met in philadelphia and we got together collectively about hundred mayors around the country. we talked about what you
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collective responsibilities are. we released something called u.s. metro economies. i want to pull out a couple key findings. it's very clear that american cities are the lifeblood of this country. here are the three key findings. 84% of the u.s. population is in metro economies. 84%. secondly, 86% of the nation's jobs are in metro economies. thirdly, 90% of the nation's gdp is in metro economies. u.s. cities are global power houses. in fact, some of our city have greater economies than countries. for instance new york is larger than mexico and south korea. los angeles outpaces switzerland and chicago outpaces sweden.
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there's a number of metro economy that's are larger than states. miami has larger economy than arizona and houston's gdp is higher than georgia. these numbers will continue to grow as time goes on. over the next 30 years, you're going see a 32% increase in the metro population around this country. we believe where businesses occur and where people live and where innovation is born. that's partly why we are so thankful to have an opportunity to share with this particular committee today. we as mayors stand ready to be a part of the solution. we want to put our country back on track. just last week, mayor nutter hosted us to a 2.5 day seminar. we got a chance to prepare document called building a better america. efocused on ten major issues that we thought were important in cities around the focus.
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i won't mention all ten. more importantly it's about creating an urban agenda. let me start with investing if infrastructure. that will keep our cities competitive in the 21st century. secondly keeping people in our cities safe and secure through public safety as a top priority. primarily role of government. thirdly, ensuring that all of our children have access to a high quality public education. we believe those are three most important things for us as mayors around the country. these priorities we believe are transformative and obtainable, they unify our interest and transcend our party and geography. they improve the lives our
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citizens and sustaining the promise of the american dream. first let me dive a little bit into infrastructure. what is infrastructure? infrastructure are our roads, waterways, bridges, our railways, energy grids. things that bring us together. things that connect us with our cities. by investing in infrastructure, we provide both short term and longer term jobs. it helps our ports and exports and it reduces congestion. further more, thinking about infrastructure, the u.s. spends only 2.4% of its gdp in infrastructure. meanwhile, europe spends 5% and china invest 9%. it's clear we're moving in the wrong direction in the 1980ser. at 3%. if we fail to act, our cities are going to increasingly sufficient congestion under employment and certainly a long term cost. what we mayors want to say very
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loud and clear, we as cities want to be a part of the solution. when you think about how we get our country back on track, states play a critical role but we believe cities where the rubber need to roll. our aim in addition to infrastructure is also public safety. we know that we need to keep air cities secure and safe. the u.s. mayors know that crime affects our streets and our people. unfortunately, with budget cuts already stretched thin, cities are increasingly have to cut fundamental services for its citizens. we have identified a few ways in which our party, the democratic party and president obama can ensure that the aid directly goes to public safety. first, we must support local law enforcement by supporting key programs, the cops hiring grants, and second chance.
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secondly, we must have a paradigm shift and focus lot of our energy on prevention. we want to be proactive. thirdly, in this is something that's near and dear to president, i guess in this case, our president nutter, is gangs and illegal drugs. we all know that there's so much gang on gang violence. young kids, african-american in particular are impacted in a negative way. we have to make sure we come up with solutions and part that is inner governmental partnership and combination of tough enforcement and prevention. the last thing i'll talk about briefly in term of public safety and it's a little bit
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nontraditional. it's our floods and our levies. we cannot places around the country very similar to what happened in new orleans and katrina that can impact us. lastly is education. this is the one that's probably near and dear to my heart in particular because we as mayors cannot have a great city without great schools. unfortunately many of our schools and cities around the country are not meeting the bar. it's a moral impettive when you think about achievement gap. it's a competitive dynamic. we got to get our schools back on track. we believe very strongly that you have to have a well educated and highly skilled work --
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workforce. we rank now unfortunately 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math among the 34 developed countries. what makes matters worse, is in the next 20 years, we're going to have 120 million jobs. unfortunately we're going to be able to fill 50 million of those jobs by our children. that means 70 million jobs will be outsourced to children in other countries. that is not the america we believe in. just under under investing and lack of prioritizing, under investing and lack of priority will cripple our education system. that's why we as mayors want to be a part of the solution the president has been far and above one of the key leaders on these issues. we want to prioritize early education, which and all know is
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very important for our students. we want to reform k12. we got to increase graduation rates. we want to improve our access to higher education by ensuring college affordability and completion, pell grant. we want to expand and improve on community college system. our community college system is so important when it comes to training and career tryouts for young people. we want to create a skilled workforce. the last thing i'll say on education is, there's policy that's also very important. we're in lock step with the president from a bipartisan support and secretary duncan. we believe very strongly that we need to re-authorize e.s.c.a.
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we want the federal government to move in a very swift way. we got to bring congress together and get this reauthorization passed. it fails, our nations cities and students will be impacted in a very negative way. mayors stands ready and we urge our party to hold us accountable. we want to be a part of the solution. that's under mayor nutter's leadership as well. the urban agenda is critical for moving this country forward. we believe very strongly by focusing on infrastructure and job creation, public safety and education, that we will get our communities back on track. we also think that the u.s. conference of mayors, we said this before, there's other things that we know are very important. exports and advanced manufacturing and small business, energy independence and jobs, housing and community
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development, tax reforms, balancing our budget and certainly reducing our deficit. we as mayors again stand with this administration in this country and look forward to the months ahead. we want to be willing partners we believe in the values of democratic party. we believe in everything we stand for and we believe there's a lot of work to be done. sign us pup >> thank you mayor. thank you for your leadership. are there questions for the good mayor? mayor nutter >> thank you. not so much a question. i do want to thank mayor johnson for coming in and clearly laying out the case for cities and partnership as we move forward in strength in this platform for the role of cities and a new city federal partnership and in particular thank you for your comments with regard to public safety and the issue of violence
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all across the united states of america. for some of us believe that response we've had to international terrorism very important for this country. but unfortunately on a daily basis, many of us experience domestic terrorism in our cities. we need a much larger and comprehensive response to those issues so that people can be safe not only as they fly but also as they walk around their communities. thank you >> congresswoman? >> god to see you. thank you for that clear and testimony as well. it's very important for us to hear and include in this platform. coming from oakland, california, many of the ours you raised are similar to all urban areas. public sector job cuts,
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primaryings firefighters and police officers and teacher, next door neighbors, they experience the brunt of public sector job cuts. that of course is part of the republican in terms of deficit reduction. and public sector jobs has been the primary pathway to the middle class for people of color -- african-americans and latino and asian-pacific americans. what in terms of your city in terms of an urban agenda is the impact of the public sector budget cuts as it relates to services and jobs and keeping our community safe? >> first of all, i'm a big fan of yours, thank you. i appreciate the question and thank you for the work that you do obviously in the bay area. i'm the mayor of sacramento and we're the capital of california, which is 8th largest economy in the world. as a capital city, in
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sacramento, the majority of our jobs are public sector jobs as a capital city. when the economy is hit hard, our community is hit a lot harder than most cities that have a diverse kind of workforce. we don't have a diverse workforce. think there's two thing i would say. number one, the lifeblood of our communities are police officers, our firemen, teachers. we've got to do everything that we can to make sure they're not making choices between paying the mortgage and buying groceries. we've got to make that as a priority. secondly. we have to figure out a way to grow the pie. the private sector can play a critical role in growing that pie. government jobs we want to keep and keep strong. we also rely heavily on the real
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estate industry in sacramento. we were hit by the foreclosure crisis like many other communities around the country. that's an opportunity to create public, private partnerships. that is the answer going forward. it's public and private partnerships. they are not mutually exclusive. >> mayor, thank you for that really amazing rivetting series very thoughtful concepts we all need to think about. i know in the brief amount of time, we allowed, you couldn't speak to everything. i am curious because you mentioned the word corrected responsibility, whether you as elected official, u.s. counsel of mayor. any comments you would like to make on the unprecedented attack
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on our voting rights that as an elected official i think is a almost terrifying attack on our basic democracy and whether the cities so many of our citizens live. >> certain things are nonnegotiable. for us, especially the african-american and proud of this party in 1964 and 1965, you think about the voting rights act and how long and hard we fought to be able to have that right and privilege. now folks are talking about creating schemes and ways to disenfranchise folks all again. that's not something we as mayors should allow to happen. i don't want to speak on behalf the u.s. counsel of mayors because this is permanent to --
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personal to me. i can i can assure you, we feel strongly doing what we can to make sure no one is disenfranchised. >> i just wanted to thank you. also comment on the fact that the priorities that you have identified for us are equally as important to rural communities. i come from a large state where half of our population, i can tell you that the issues most important to those communities are things like public safety, and infrastructure and education. i appreciate the work that you're doing on those issues and i appreciate the fact that u.s. conference of mayors are pushing that agenda. >> i would like to sigh one -- say one thing on that.
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i know doug peterson spoke earlier representing the farmers union. i thought his points were appropriate. in this metro economies report, i did not realize just what the percentage and the numbers were that metro economies represent in this country. on the flip side, we have many rural mayors that are part of the work we're doing. we look at them as extreme partners. please don't look that the as something we are turning a deaf eye on one part of our community because we need all. we all have different strengths and different parts of the equation. i certainly agree and i appreciate you pointing it out. it is very consistent with the u.s. conference of mayors and what we want to do as well >> mayor thank you so much. thank you for your leadership and appreciate your testimony. we appreciate you coming. thank you so very much.
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>> i know all the questions were from the left side of the room [laughter]. our party is on track. thank you. >> well our next presenter is mr. tom greeceson. he -- to meet and to network with other professionals as well as local, state and federal elected officials and candidates. also known as dembiz promotes program of interest to democratic. >> thank you governor strickland and thank you members of the
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committee for having me attend this meeting. i am here in my capacity as vice president of the democratic business council of northern virginia. we refer to at dembiz. i want to thank ron pierce who is with the dnc small business owners council for invitation for us to be represented and make this presentation today. we feel that dembiz can serve as a model to other communities.
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probusiness, this is a term that's become a weapon and seeks to separate those who place -- those who somewhat argue do not. pro-business implies there's only one other camp you can be and that is anti-business. the pro-business camp has been -- democrats have been left in a category that influence that we are anti-business. by extension anti-american and conservatives wrap the economy in a flag and make it their own. democrats lie champions of core values of justice. in the last election we saw that the gop designed to convince
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americans those core values make us and our president social lip. words do matter. in a culture that's increasingly driven by sound bites the best slogan. in 2008 yes we can spoke to millions of people. young people, poor people, minorities, seniors. all who had never bother to vote before came out and supported the president. the party holding the flag when the economy collapsed in 2008 was the gop. that brings us to today. jobs in the last four years, it has come down to jobs. this is an endless debate about what and who creates those jobs. words matter when the polarization puts the republicans in one camp
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pro-business and pro-jobs and leaves democrats only champions for entitlement programs. democrats can't win local, state and national elections without rebuilding our credibility as business center, pro-economy advocates. we begin in our area to try to change the conversation among democrat who are business and professional people in northern virginia. one of the most strongest economies in the country. dembiz, we talk about messaging and perception and misguided notion that we have to cut, reduce and eliminate to strengthen our american economy.
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to paraphrase tip o'neil our business is local. those organization are the champions of local businesses that have traditionally embraced the pro-businessman tra -- mantra of the republican party. increasingly and extension of the gop. the creation of the democratic council, democratic business council, is not the answer to chamber of commerce. this is not a matter of feeding a mentality of opposing camps. in finding business people who understand and value the importance of social issues, we create a different discussion in a new form around how we can meet the basic needs of the many while supporting the people, company and organizations that comprise our local economy.
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members of dembiz understands that the political process provides change. this is about creating a partnership between the business community and those who are in the business of government. democrats must craft a convincing message about how we value business and its relationship to government. democrats are not a party of smaller government, we are a party of better government. we must carry that message to the business community through a
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cadry of people who believe that message our continued sustainability is largely based on word of mouth. we want committed people to help advance our goals. our democratic business council is based on a membership model but not every organization that is in this sector needs to be modeled in that way to be successful. we have a pack, which allow us us to directly support democratic candidate. our chief goal is education over fundraising. we focus on getting great speaker to our breakfast, people who have wide appeal, name recognition and serve to draw our members, friends of our somebodies and just people that are simply interested in hearing us speakers in the topics we discuss. our format encourages open discussion. we create stakeholders in the initiatives and the agenda the democratic party by giving people in the business and
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professional community a chance to really talk with elected officials with candidates and with public administrators. we give our members and guests access to people they might not otherwise be ail to connect with. we give decision makers and people influences in their own networks. it is my hope that the democratic party at the national level would encourage the formation of local democratic business councils as a boots on the ground approach to reshaping the public perception of democrats. we don't have to compromise our core values to be seen as a pro-business party. we have to help others to see how business serves a greater goals in our society.
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language and message to take these idea us out to the community. convincing voters one person at a time that democrats are also pro-business. thank you very much. >> thank you sir. think the record shows that across the years even across the decades that the business community does better under democratic administration than they do under republicans. are there questions >> thank you very much for your helpful testimony. i appreciate your point about the partnership that's possible between government and business. food safety is one example where over time there's been improvement for the american people and their. i wanted to ask you a little bit about universities. universities are not only a way for individuals to get a leg up in their life but also serve a social economic growth.
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>> northern virginia one of the biggest universities in the state of virginia actually is george mason university. there we actually work closely with the faculty and students to try to reach out as members of the business community and also try to have the individual who are part of the faculty and who actually can bring value to our discussion about public policy issues and be part that discussion and be part of that partnership. i would agree that outreach by democratic organizations to youthses can -- universities can be extremely helpful >> thank you very much for your reference and for your input. you talk about how dembiz is engaged in messaging and perception. i wonder if you can help us with that. one of the thing republican party seems to have been very
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good at is wrapping themselves in small business and using small business as something to hide behind in support of policies that are neither supportive of small business people or small businesses themselves. you care to comment on that? >> i agree with you completely. when democrats are in office, when democrats actually adopt policies, those small businesses actually thrive. having democrats promote policies and actually god for the economy and good for all the citizens in our region. >> i want that thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. >> tom, we thank you for being
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here. our next presenter is allison herbert. allison is the legislative director of the human rights campaign. during her work >> , she has spearheaded the organization federal and legislative efforts on capitol hill. h.r.c. is the largest single rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and tran gender americans. allison we thank you for coming and we look forward to your testimony >> thank you very much. i want to take a personal privilege what an honor to be here. we are the largest lesbian and gay bisexual transgender civil
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rights organization. i thank you for the opportunity to be here today before you. i would like to begin by thanking the democratic party for its long standing commitment to lgbt community. we obtained tremendous progress in address widespread
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discrimination. despite these historic advances and others achieved at the local, state and federal level, there is still a great deal more that needs to be done. i come before you today to ask that the democratic platform once again reflect strong support of the right of lgbt people. i urge to expand the party's commitment to equality by unequivocally supporting the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry. it also calls for repeal of the discriminatory defense of marriage act or doma, the federal law denies even lawfully married gay and lesbian couples
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a myriad of rights and benefits such as equal access to social security survive budgets, equitable taxation. because of doma, the gay and lesbian service member now able to serve our nation openly are still not treated equally. their partners and spouses lack access to health coverage, housing assistance and other benefits afforded to other military families.
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earlier in year, president obama made historic statement in support of marriage equality. his words have fundamentally changed the national conversation on this issue. inspiring more and more americans to move forward on their personal journeys towards supporting equality.
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an impact their ability to obtain the skills and education they need to succeed in life. in recent years, high-profile of like condi issue of bullying and harassment in our nation's schools. this problem is not a new one and does not only affect lgbt youth are those perceived to be gay and tranche tender. it has contributed to entirely
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too many tragedies and we as a nation must do more to ensure that all you have the opportunity to learn and flourish in safe and respectful in garments. i urge you to include in the platform called for strong measures to combat bullying, discrimination and harassment that are explicitly inclusive of sexual orientation and gender. >> thanks to the lifting of the hiv travel on immigration ban, we are all reminded of the importance of our continued fight against this epidemic. hiv and aids remains a critical issue for people, and sit affects particularly young people and gay and bisexual men of color. i ask that the platform continue
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to call for robust funding of prevention care and research. prevention programs must be comprehensive, science based, and focused on communities that they are intended to serve. hr 3 recognizes the role race based organizations play in tackling the problem, but we are keenly aware that religion is too often used as a platform to discriminate against lgbt people. with the federal courts continuing to grapple with lgbt equality, thee b federal dougie sheriff means critically important to our committees well-being. perrin impartial judges
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recognize that the constitution's guarantees compared to all americans. on behalf of the human rights campaign, i think for the opportunity to testify today. we are grateful for the democratic party support of the community in championing our quality. >> thank you so much for being here and for your testimony. are there questions or allison? -- number four alison? >> just a comment. so wonderful to see you, alison, and has always been a pleasure working with you. i think you have educated all of us and has been an important statement as we move forward for civil rights for all americans. i thank the committee for your work in your testimony as well.
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>> are there other questions? i think this platform could be an historic platform, based on some of the things you have discussed in your testimony. think of much for being here. >> we'll have more coverage at the dnc platform drafting committee tomorrow. >> in the weeks ahead, the political parties are holding a platform hearings with democrats voting this week on their final platform recommendations this week in detroit. this month, republican start the platform process at the tebbutt convention site. c-span's complete coverage begins monday, august 27, with a live coverage of the republican national convention in tampa and the democratic national convention, live from charlotte,
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north carolina, starting tuesday, september 3. >> in a few moments, the nasa briefing -- the nasa briefing on the mars rover curiosity. we will we are the opening meeting of the democratic national committee platform drafting committee. -- we will read error the opening meeting. several live events to tell you about tomorrow morning. the second day of a forum on bullying on c-span2 at 8:30 eastern. at 9:30 eastern, labor secretary hilda solis about jobs and education in the latino community. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to u.s. the public service on your it is by your tell vision provider it is by
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your television provider. >> the nassau rover curiosity landed on mars after traveling over 350 million miles since its loss -- since its launch in november. [cheers and applause] [applause] >> welcome to the nasa jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california. >> let me introduce the panelists. they will give us an update on the rover and an outlook. joining us right now we have a
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michael watkins, and the mission manager. miguel san martin, mission near of guidance control. sarah milkovich, hirise investigation specialist. >> welcome back. the surface mission has dealt a gun. for those of us on the project knew we had to get through some big events. launch was a big one for us. we built this rover and not just to be launched or land on mars but to actually drive on mars and execute a very beautiful science mission.
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we have ended one phase of the mission much to our enjoyment. another part has just begun. it is the fundamental reason we built the rover. we are just starting that mission. about two hours after landing, just before 1:00 a.m. in the morning, a curiosity called us via mars odyssey. mars odyssey was overhead. it comes around two hours later. mars has rotated. it was still over the horizon. we were able to have a short talk with curiosity. she told us she is in service nominal mode. she quickly transitioned to surface and nominal mode.
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not in safe mode. she is otherwise very healthy. we have some images that we will show and they little bit. we are a go for activities. those are dominated by boring activities, checking out the rover. making sure its is healthy. deploying the antenna. then we employed the mast. the rover looks like this right now. you are used to seeing in it with its eyes up and antenna deployed. we are stowed down here. we are about to deploy this little internet that allows us to talk directly to the earth that can actually send adapted to us and more easily talked to buy us. a day or or so we will have
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these beautiful panoramas. as for now, the first order is to make sure our communications are healthy. that is a prime activity. last night we got one other beautiful piece of of information. our hazcams are the still cameras that point mostly at our wheels. we are concerned that they will kick up some dirt. we have little clear covers on them. those are the images we got last night. they are the first things we were talking about. this is that picture. now that we are awake and three have digested it with less adrenaline, it is not such a great picture anymore. [laughter] it is beautiful because of what it means that that is dust
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kicked up by the landing in event. we want to get rid of those covers. you can see our beautiful shadow. we hope to get the rear and front and down. you can see our shadowed there. let's go to the animation and remind you where these hazcams are. mobilityooking for hazards. there pointed at the ground. they have a wild field of view. vesco to the next image. last night after landing, we fired all of our pyros. there is our image. we're looking out the back. he can see the left rear wheel.
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you can see the hinge in the field of view. it looks like a spring on the lower right side. on the upper left as part of the rtg, the power source. several of the folks that worked on assembling those said they never got a picture this good. they could never get the lighting right on the earth. this is the definitive control image of how the rover is supposed to look. on the side you are going to see some hills on the far edge. we're going to show that later. i really love these images. getr we're going to magnificent color panorama's and 3d images, but the first images are always the best ones to me. when you land on mars it is new
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every time. this is a new place on mars. we go on vacation to see a different part of our planet. we're seeing a part of mars we have never seen. this is oriented to look like the landscape on earth. we will continue to get the front version of this. over the next couple of days we will be sending down the imager that is in color. after we get the rsm up, we'll get some nice black and white panoramas. this is our new home for a while. we need to explore it. then we will have for the hills. we hope we can actually see the mountain of gale.
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we are at a very slight tilt. we are 3.6 degrees negative in pitch. these are pretty small numbers. we landed on this table. it is pretty flat. we are in a good spot. where exactly is this spot on our map of mars? >> thank you. good morning. i hope you have enjoyed the roller coaster ride last night. i want to get another round. maybe we have to wait a few more years. it looked beautiful from other
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monitors. we have not had the time to look at the data carefully. it'll be coming soon. right now the rover is full of edl data set that will help us understand and bring our knowledge to even higher levels. we are very excited waiting for that data. i am going to talk to you about our best knowledge of where we landed. it might change once we get the data. next picture. we did land inside the crater. [laughter] we know that. you can say our landing is 7 kilometers by 7 kilometers. if we could get the next picture please. this is where we think we
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landed. it is two kilometers east of the center of the landing site, a few hundred meters north. let me explain where we get that from. this is based on the ground navigation by the navigation team. as you saw yesterday, it gave us incredible precision. we see the software of curiosity with that very precise data. curiosity is using its own navigation instruments. it is a relative instrument. i can take an initial seed of what the velocity is and then it can apply to the atmosphere
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and its own rockets. it is that reckoning. it is kind of like the odometer. in essence, it is based on one of the last piece of telemetry when it touched down. i touched down and this is where we are. we need to analyze it. we send corrections that we did. we actually get other indications from the data we saw in the telemetry that gives an impression that we did very
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well. one check we do is that eventually after propagating the inertia measurement unit for several minutes, and eventually we removed the heat shield in the radar stars looking at the ground. we can see how well the inertia measurement did. to give this altitude related to the ground. it is so well that we have to look at the data again. it is hard to believe. we have not been able to get our simulations to work that well. it was a correction of few meters in altitude. that is influenced by how well was our last attitude fix based on the stars. just like sailors did, we use the stars.
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i think that is great. we did the final look at the stars. curiosity did that, it took the navigation data from the ground and into get all the way down and guided it down. that is our estimate. we have to wait for precise localization by high-rise. that is all i had to say. thank you. >> speaking of high-rise, you heard a lot about how odyssey was listening to msl. the orbiter was also there. mro was watching.
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we normally take pictures of the surface. we can get pictures of two resolutions of 30 centimeters per pixel. what we did this time, if you can go to the graphic, there is mro coming along and we actually took a picture with hirise. this shows our image. [applause] if we zoom in, there we go. [applause] this is a testament to the hirise team at the university of arizona.
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we've been working on getting this together since march. we have been updating it as msl has been getting closer. the final commander sent out a couple of days ago. this was taken six months after it entered the atmosphere. mro was about 340 kilometers away from msl at the time the picture was taken. you can see the lines on the parachute. you can see the hole in the top. the inset image is stretch differently so that you can see the parachute clearly without
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saturation. and let's see. i think that is the last one. we can go to the last one. hirise has taken over 120 pictures of gale as part of the characterization process. i really think this is the coolest one. [laughter] now john will talk about what we see on the surface. >> let's just go to the first graphic right away. we would get you back into the hazcams. here is our standard color superimposed on top of the
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ctxdem showing the topography of the crater. you can see the well-defined crater rim toward the middle. to help you understand what we're going to be seeing in the hazcams, let's get oriented. north is up toward the top of the image. if you go counterclockwise it takes you into the northwest quadrant. there you see the rim. the northern rim is considerably lower in elevation than the summit of mount sharp. you can see where the rim is breached a little bit there. remember the topography of the rim. you will have to keep that in mind. mount sharp itself will represent a topographical rise. if we go to the next image, this is really spectacular. what has happened here is they word to take the hazcam image.
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it is a fisheye lens. there's a lot of distortion. this is the view you will see if you are a hazcam. there retarding toward the rim of the gale crater. this cannot be a better position to live in. we get to see rearwards and forwards. you heard us speaking about the alluvial fan that we think we landed close to. this is bringing materials in from the rim which is not our destination. sampleetting a free without having to drive over there. in the foreground you see a scene that is very familiar to
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you from other images of mars, what is undoubtedly a windswept plain with course grain size distribution. we do not yet know what that diameter is. you can get the sense that there is a bunch of particles there that are bought the same size. in the upcoming ones we will be discussing this, trying to figure out where to go and what to do. this will be part of the story. a target like this is interesting because one of the things we are going to want to do after the commissioning is analyze it. we would like something
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representatives of mars. this is a target for us to think about. by sampling it, we have a sample of what is the most global sample a mars that we can measure. in the next one, this is tough. i think the edl guys were seen a vision like this a few hours ago. the curvature is taken out. we are looking toward the southeast. you have the shadow of the rover there. this was the first indication we are looking southwest because the sun was setting behind us. i forgot something important. is it possible to go back two? >> stand by. >> one more. there we go. if the go to the southwest part, a notice the black line that goes from northeast to
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southwest. that is a dune fields that lies at the base of mount sharp. that black line will be our frame of reference. we have landed somewhere to the north of that black line. we are looking toward the base of mount sharp. that black line we believe is the dune field. as you work upward in the image, we believe you see the outline of mount sharp itself in the setting sun. the upper part is the horizon. you should see a slope that goes from above that black line of dunes sloping to the upper right.
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you have a little bit of adventure before you. i will be sleeping when the next downlink occurs. joey will be able to talk to you about the data we will get down without the dust cover entire resolution, possibly even full frame. we think we have landed and the hazcams are picking up topography on both sides. that is it for me. >> we will open it up. i will try to memorize the order i see hands coming up. we will work our way over. >> could you refine the landing time? what was the landing time? >> i will have to get that to you after this conference.
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we will get it for you. >> excuse me. could you explain what is just out of the landing site? it looks like it might be the dune areas. how far are you from what you consider to be the foothills of mount sharp. >> the dunes that you see is a rather narrow dip. you see it slicing through the area. we are a few kilometers away. the typography where it starts to steepen up, where we would like to access it is a few kilometers away.
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they are slicing through the landing. >> get him back the microphone. >> does that mean to get to the mountain you would go north around the dunes? is there any reason why you cannot go straight? >> we would never want to just drive across the dunes. we have this beautiful topography. we study those to find the paths that would give us the least resistance. if the science justifies it, we will happily take that route. >> can you tell me what has
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happened to the lending? it pops off of flies in another direction. do you know how far away it is? >> it flies away. it has a close algorithm. it is very rudimentary. we want to crash as far away, 400 meters away. we told it to go essentially toward the north. we do not have telemetry on that part. the only way we will find out is through hirise taking an image. we think it will be hundreds of meters. it is designed to do that.
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>> you estimate that this is six minutes after an injury, one minute before landing. -- after entry. that is after the heat shield popped off. have you looked for that in the image? >> we have not in this image. i do not know if we would be able to see it in this image. we will be taking images of the landing site in the days to come. we might be taking an image within the next day. that one would be a little hazy. imagetaking a very good six days from now and another 112 days from now. we will be able to look for with the other components landed. >> what is your best estimate for the resolution of what
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we're seeing here with the parachute? >> 33 centimeters. >> i think there were a couple of more. >> the image we're trying to help is to localize the landing with respect to topographic features we can see to aid the dynamic solution. we hope to have that in a couple of days. >> irish television. a blotched appeared in both of the images looking out across the plains which they were interpreting as possibly the landing stage impact. this picture came down much quicker than many of us expected. it seemed that it could be. did any did you think that you saw evidence of the landing
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stage impact? >> that artifact has been talked about. it could be associated with the landing. we do not know. it is too early to tell what it is. we would like to take a look at it again. if it is a transient feature, we just have that one image. it might tell us where to look when we get all of our cameras up. we are just starting to trickle down thumbnails of the next couple of days. it'll take a little while to get that. >> we are glad to take one more question from the road. >> the distance to the rim we're seeing, you have some distance.
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to give us some sense of how far we are away from the large topographic features you are talking about. >> let's pull up the image again of the first one. there we go. the ellipse there is 20 kilometers. we landed to the right of the x in the middle, 20 kilometers to the rim. something like that. >> we will take one here in the front row and then we will move back here. >> just curious on the residual fuel. what was the touchdown speed? anyway you can appreciate what speed you hit?
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>> i will ask my friend and colleague adam. >> 140 kilograms. that is my memory. >> that sounds about right. we ended up with a lot which is a good thing. >> as opposed to the opposite? >> yes. the touchdown speed as reported by the sensor is [inaudible] we were coming up. .75 meters per second. there is an error in the sensor itself.
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you could not tell that. it is going to require more analysis. it will be very useful to be able to really find what the true velocity is. we can only give you what the spacecraft think its velocity was. that is .75 meters per second vertically. it is a very small number compared to previous attempts. we will see what it does. it will be nice for the control point of view. >> maybe gauging the difficulty
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between phoenix and the imaging of curiosity coming in, was it tougher? >> it was tougher because of the relative positions of the spacecraft. the team guesstimated that they have an 80% probability of getting that image. this was a great shot. >> based on what you know right now, could you update us on when you expect the delivery of high-resolution black and white photos, color imagery, and the
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first panorama. you mentioned thumbnails coming down and maybe the first full video from the dissent camera. >> we are still in the nominal plan. in one of the earlier conferences, richard cook gave an approximate list of dates. we start to get the front hazcam in a couple of hours. in the next day or two we start getting better resolutions. we have a single frame caller from the molly instrument. in looks like a panoramic image you are used to seeing. it looks like a regular camera.
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that will be the first color image we will get. it is about two days from now. >> we will come forward to you. if you cannot find where it came down, how high a priority would it be to go check out those new impact craters as compared to all the other work you like to do? >> an inevitable question. in terms of where the sky crane came down with all the hydrazine, we would prefer to avoid that. i do not doubt that if the path takes as near it, we will study it. those blocks are rejected so far down track we do not have any hope.
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shucking the surface might give us exposure without any contamination. >> on purpose we instructed it to fly away from where the science is. we gave a command to the spacecraft. if you drop a line east west, you go north of that line. the direction depends on the orientation at that time.
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we want to do a turn with the thrusters away from the spacecraft. we would make that more difficult. >> how many pictures has msl returned so far? what time is the high beam supposed to be deployed? >> it has returned four thumbnails, two images with the cover down, and one rear hazcam with cover off. high gain deploy is in the afternoon mars time today. about 12 hours from now or so. >> you mentioned one of the
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first things he might like to do is do an analysis. what sort of variations in the soil is there one? what might you be looking for that is different? >> there are two separate objectives. the one we are also out after its composition of bedrock. we infer it is going to represent local prophesies that happened that form the bedrock. the soil in a place like mar will represent an average of dust that has blown around the planet and other materials that have worked their way over long distances.
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while we have no independent way to demonstrate that what we might demonstrate must be analogous to what was measured with viking, every time we sampled this has a very high sulphur content. we would like to know what minerals are in that soil. by analyzing it we can get a better understanding of what the composition of the soil is. certainly where we landed and also by inference globally. indeed one of the most global questions we could address. >> just a mechanical standpoint, were you surprised at the amount of dust on the cover given how high the engines
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were? does that tell you anything about the consistency? >> that is a good question. we were surprised. the images that have the dust covers off still shows some dust on them. a little bit got in there. the desk comes and goes. this'll probably below its off. it will wax and wane. the other interesting observation is that if you look at the image, you will notice the wheel is on relatively firm ground. we did not get any sinkage. that is an inferential science observation that this has bearing strength.
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it is probably firm. we might use to draw it somewhere else to get our scoop out. we really do want to be soft material. >> you mentioned the health of the material. are there any anomalies at all? a lot of folks have a lot of trepidation going in. did you ever imagine you would be here this morning with the vehicle in the shape it is in telling us the story? >> there are no anomalies that are outside the expected range that we expect.
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some are reading higher than we expected. a reading is within the accepted sounds to move forward. there is no real anomaly that is causing us to slow down. because we're engineers, every little thing that is different folks want to take a look at. why is it different? that will continue. we're still moving forward. in terms of success, each of us would answer that differently. we all believed it would land successfully. we were not worried. we would not have designed a two-year service mission if we did not think it would land successfully. it is a very complex vehicle. we are a little bit concerned that we will land in a safe mode and it would take awhile to get out of it. you landed healthy but did not
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get the communications past and have to sit and wait. we have great telecom performance. this has all been fine. i think we're pleasantly surprised at how smooth it is going. do you want to comment? >> he explained it very well. if we felt there is no chance of success we would not be doing it. we have trained ourselves for eight years to think the worst all the time. that is what you do. you are constantly thinking ways that things can go wrong so
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you can do something about it and then you can never turn it off. especially the few days coming to the landing when you also know that you do not have time to recover. the pressure is even higher. a landing is like a rocket launch. it is that type of violence that is so unforgiving. even until this day, we were very nervous on this launch. those are things that we practiced much more. you can actually count the number a mars landing is with one hand. we want to be totally sure that these things will work. that is what we will continue.
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we will continue trying. we will be nervous the next time the matter how well this one worked. >> nbc news. just a couple of questions that i may have missed. is there any marty imagery? on the mro picture, what is the difference from when it was taken? >> there is no marty data right now. in about two hours we would get another pass with the orbiters. we might get some thumbnails in that. as of today they are not down. >> mro was 340 kilometers from
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mso. >> we do hope to hold another conference this afternoon. >> let me say something else about the deployment. it starts about 11:00 mars time. it ends in the afternoon. >> we will go back to john johnson. first, emily. >> do we have any information on the health of any of the science instruments? >> we have many of them. they are all fine. >> if you get 406 scientists there'll be 407 different opinions.
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it is very early. if you have any kind of different ideas that are floating around about things you're seeing in the foreground? >> i think it is still early. there's only a limited amount of information that we can draw from this. we had a great discussion this morning. i think most people feel we're on a gravel plane of mars with the uniform grain size distribution. is that the rim in the background? everybody agrees on that. we have a lot of discussion about the alluvial fan and how we may explore the ellipse. i am amazed we did a crowdsourcing exercise. people got quads.
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we had a remarkable amount of agreement which is mostly a testimony to the relative simplicity of the geology. that is a good thing. we are a complex based craft. >> i am sorry. john johnson is next. then we will come back here. >> i just want to follow up on the last question about the health of the science instruments. you say the instruments have so far checked out. can you say anything specifically about what do you feel confidently everything is in shape? >> do you want to comment on that? >> there is a series of tests is that related to the performance.
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today it was electrical tests that worked well. >> of what happened to that dust storm that was talked about a couple of days ago? >> it dissipated. a beautiful, clear day. >> we have not completely checked out the instruments. there's a lot of scientific calibration and complex modes that will take us a long time to get through. thee not completely out of water. we have weeks if not months before we are completely confident. >> one major observation that we planned today is an observation for five hours. there is plenty of time to do that. that is 100% data collection.
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>> will mro be able to pop of the rover? will the arbiter have any role in helping the rover navigate apart from relaying the data? >> yes. we will be able to see the rover. we already have images planned for later this week to look at the rover. they should look great. it will be more than just a single pixel. we have already done a lot of data collection for the rover. we have collected data across the entire creator and landing ellipses.
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we have stereo data and color imagery that have already been used to start looking at potential traverses. as the mission goes on, we are expecting msl to come to us and say we need a new picture there to make sure there are no new dust hazards or maybe there is a spot where we want a slightly better resolution. in addition to releasing the data, the cameras are expecting to help out. >> the mro data has been critical to landing site selection. state spots with relatively few rocks. we come out of the landing sites with a 1 meter type coverage. our drivers have actually started to use those to find traverses. they have out resumes. it is fast to go over.
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it prevents them optimal paths to the science team. they're working closely with the science team to come up with those drives. there are 100 cermet based on hirise imagery. >> now you have two rovers on mars. one has a tremendous amount of data. are you going to be getting in situations where you're going to have scheduling constraints? >> the orders are able to support both. there are two partitions that they can cover. there's very little conflict there. >> there also of the two rovers in different places that the timing of doing one relay is not going to interfere with the
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other. >> leo is going to go next. go ahead. >> i am sorry if i have to ask mike watkins to clarify up body hga deploy. i cannot do it in my head. he said 9:00 local time. you're now saying something different. >> afternoon. it ends in the afternoon rather than starts. it stars around 11:00 mars time. right now it is about 12 hours after landing. it is about three caught in the morning on mars right now. 8 or 9 hours from now. >> a quick question for john. some light reading since we want to get to know this crater very well. can you recommend a paper that will be the definitive one to read?
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>> i am a little bleary cannot reside references right now. there are several review papers that have been written. if anybody sends me an e-mail, i will send those along. >> you know the orientation of the rover in the camera. what is going to be in the first color image? >> i actually do not know that. that is a good question. i should know the answer to that. we can quickly tell you that. >> it will be looking out to the side. we had always a hope that it might land with an orientation where molly might capture mount sharp. >> i think it is going to be on
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the flanks of mount sharp. we had this plus or minus 5 degrees. it matters where the flanks are. i think we could probably get a better answer. let's say you landed 2 kilometers down from mount sharp. behind you have where you thought you were going to land. are you going to go reverse or head?
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>> it is diffuse. all fans taper out. we really want to be on the side of that if that is what is going on. the goal of the crowd sourcing exercise was to be able to compile a matt that made a crack abbott different types of units. -- at different types of units. maybe it is the height of the podium. these are things that constitute a part of the risk. that is what we are after. we would string together a pathway that would think as. if it takes just forwards, then we'll go that way, it too. most mapping exercises do not involve that in one direction. >> what are the signs of these boulders?
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>> each one of these angles is roughly about 1.5 kilometers on the side. within every one of them there is some type of this. -- type of scarp. we're trying to piece together a landing ellipse to check all of the points. >> you said you are trying to string together certain objects? >> we do not know yet. stay tuned. >> i am not sure who could help this best. when could we expect the first motion? does it configure how the model
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is right now? >> it is sitting flat right now. it is sitting quite flat. i cannot lift it up without it changing. i would say a couple of weeks for the first drive. it will be quite a short drive, a meter or two. >> will hirise be able to see the crater?
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and do you plan to look for them? >> i am not sure. we are going to be looking for the various hardware components and feature images. i do not know what we are going to see. for all of you, i heard you're going to be living on mars time for the first 90 sols. what happens after that? >> and that is a good question. i was joking just before this that you can tell was working on mars time at night and by who is still wearing a landing shirt. john. [laughter] these missions are to fall. we have to learn how to use this complicated machine we built. it behaves differently than it
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did in the test bed. it has different gravity, different temperatures. everything. different from exactly the way we tested it. you have to find out exactly how it is going to behave when you are on mars. we need to get comfortable with that. we need to do that efficiently. by working marce time, it gives us 16 hours to plan an uplink while the broker -- while the rover is sleeping. if we do not rotate day and night, we start to lose time. we keep -- we lose ability to keep track of the mars night. that is to help us be sufficient. there is another complex thing we have to learn -- how to operate with ourselves. we have 420 people on the mission and another 300 or more
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engineers. so we have something like seven or 800 people learning to operate this vehicle. we have to know how to interact with ourselves, know each other's voices, how we operate and we have to learn each other's individualized skills. after this 90 day period, them the consent folks back to their home institution, back to france, doddered, places like that, where a more normal time. operate by the internet, operate by telecom. it will be much more efficient. this is really an immersion training, like a foreign- language. we are learning how to operate the vehicle and how to interact with each other. >> as if it was not challenging enough to work on mars time, on mer, we have an xband link to
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earth to send the critical data back and that can be scheduled exactly on time. on this mission because of the larger data volume, we need to grab an mro or an odyssey past. the way to think about it is mars rotation of 39 minutes every day, now at plus or minus an hour and a half to randomize the schedule to make sure that anybody you want to have a relationship here on earth could get really screwed up. [laughter] >> people talk about it being like jet like. is in a certain sense. we are off by 12 hours now. >> it is also daylight when you're trying to sleep. here we are out of sync. we are starting off in the worst time but it to get a little easier here over the next few weeks. >> i know there are few questions coming forward again. >> quick question about the
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marchant calendar. -- the martian calendar. as a start at touchdown or at midnight after local landing site? >> local midnight. >> someone else on this end. >> i might have missed this but did you tell us what configuration the vehicle is in in the picture behind you. is the heat shield still on their? i was also wondering if you could address the historic nature of what went on last night and had you think this will be viewed 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now? thank you. >> before the heat shield or
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after the heat shield deployed? we do not know for sure yet. we need to the reconstruction. >> that is the back shell. it is not easy to see. we do not know the timing yet. >> from a philosophical point of view, the fact that we see ourselves are arriving to another planet, just like phoenix did first, it is mind- boggling to me. to all of us. i cannot say more than that. it is the coolest thing. >> one more here. >> i apologize if this has been asked. 140 kilograms of hydrazine -- is
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that a concern? did you have to fly in the downwind direction? >> i cannot tell you about the wind. we chose to fly it as far as possible. the direction is -- we have limited control. you draw a line east west and fly north of that line, depending on what orientation it finds itself. we do a tilt maneuver and the thrusters are canted so we do it on an axis. if the thrusters are here, and we do not do the maneuver this way. we make it this way. so that means we have only two choices -- either go that way or
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that way. we choose the one that goes north. we do our simulations, you will see a bunch of dots on the northern hemisphere. so that is what we do. that was picked out between the scientists and engineers looking for all the conditions, including the wind. >> we have a question back here first double take. >> i wanted to clarify with sarah when you say 340 kilometers away -- that image was taken. is that direct vertical altitude? mike, to the untrained eye these
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are black and white pictures of gravel. to the trained eye, can you sum up how sophisticated and exciting and momentous these pictures really are? [laughter] >> the 340 kilometers is the line of sight. almost directly overhead. i think we had a very small angle. it was essentially over head. >> i will take a crack at the photos. to me, it is representative of a successful landing on mars. it is representative of a new home. for the rover. representative of a new mars that we have never seen before. everyone of those pictures is the most beautiful picture i have ever seen. [laughter]
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i think john but it is better than i would. if those pieces of gravel are transported by water on mars, than there are much more than gravel. john, you should go from there. >> a minute ago, there was a question down here about what this mission means to you. for asset this point as scientists, we have not even scratched the surface -- for us at this point as scientists, we have not even scratched the surface. all you can do is sit there as a member of the science team -- it is a miracle to us that we have chosen this place as a result of scientific deliberation. this edl system for the first time in the history of landed emissions allow the science community to choose between four options, none excluded by engineering. the final four was a debate a
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scientist said that like it or slivers of chocolate and vanilla. when it comes down to creating a party of images to downlink and you have your choice of the front or rear, the most -- the most amazing thing is to have a group of engineers and scientists and here is what happened -- he comes up to me and says we really need to get engineering state of health data down. that is a top priority. we think we might be able to sneak in an image. what would be your first choice? the front cam or rear cam? all the scientists wanted the rear cam and engineers wanted the front haz cam. they said there are no obstructions are in the way. the wheels are in the way. the scientists said we want to see the wheel on the ground because this is not a moment for
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science, this is a moment for engineering. when you see the wheel, you know you have landed on mars. no people jumping up and down. you actually see a picture of the circus of the planet with the space craft on it and that is the miracle of engineering. >> any thoughts with reuters -- amy with reuters. with the nuclear power source, could you explain about why daytime and nighttime and rover sleep is a factor. >> it is maybe not quite as obvious. the rtg general it's a little bit of actress today -- electricity -- the rtg generates a little bit of electricity. at night, we trickle charge them. it generates a lot of heat.
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we take a little bit of that with a thermal couple and make a little bit of electricity. 100 watts or so. that he keep it warm, prevent us from having to use electrical heaters we circulate lloyd -- hearters.' recirculate fluids and puppet around the body and keep of over warm. -- we circulate fluids around the body of the rover and we keep it warm. we want to look at the targets during the day, not at night. it is warmer during the day. it fits naturally. >> we are going to end for today.
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afterward, as a reminder, 4:00 today we hope to do the follow- up news conference with images. after today, we will do its daily 10:00 a.m. is conferences. please join us for those. we are going to take one look again at what was like it at the mission control last that at 10:30. thank you for joining us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] what's more on the wall that private commercial space flight companies may have the that of the future of nasa. from washington journal, this is less than 45 minutes. >>host: every monday we look to your money. today the role of space flight at nasa. joining us is alexander saltman. the big news overnight was the rover landing on mars.
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were you awake at 1:00 a.m. this morning? guest: i was. i came in on a plane and it was a little bit nerve wracking. i was happy they got down safely. host: why is this significant? guest: it is one of the largest rovers ever landed on a planet. it is capable and able to a lot of exploring on mars and it will go to a lot of places we have not been before. the mars rovers in the past have used airbags to land and so they bounce all over the place. they might fall in a crevice.
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host: here is a recent story from "usa today." host: might we see efforts including a commercial interest? guest: there is no commercial reason or few commercial reasons to do that. nasa has to a be the leader in space exploration to mars. it will be a part in getting to continue on to mars another way. it will be a part in making sure the space station can be maintained for a relatively inexpensive price.
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host: how important our commercial interests in general right now? how commercial spaceflight is working now compared to 15 years ago. guest: they have always been supporting players. nasa has designed the vehicles. this is the first time nasa has asked a company to build the whole thing. the control is with the companies and is a new way to do business. host: private interest is being touted as the future. what is the rold of federal dollars? guest: nasa is a big customer. the basic goal is to reduce nasa's cost on doing things they
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do all the time so that nasa can look at the harder things like going to mars. host: here are some of the numbers. host: if you like to talk with alexander saltman about the exploration program, here are the phone numbers to call -- a story from "the l.a. times." this is just coming out on friday.
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host: how were these companies chosen? guest: there was a long competition. all these companies had won previous awards and now part of the last group. there was another company that won money in that round. these are contracts. they have not won the contracts until they perform. the companies get paid when they meet certain milestones. nasa will not pay them until they hit some of the milestones. host: building a space plane that closely resembles in many space shuttle.
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-- a mini space shuttle. guest: building capsules. sierra is building a space plane. there designs an expert taste comes from nasa. -- their designs and expertise comes from nasa. nasa originally did the research on that stuff. host: give us a sense of what the commercial spaceflight federation does. guest: we have about 45 members involved in human space flight, exploration with robotics, the planetary resources, a whole slew of new businesses in space. i work on capitol hill and more with nasa to make sure we're all on the same page and that there are programs that companies can take advantage of.
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host: how is safety in short across-the-board? guest: nasa doesn't design the system anymore so they need to make sure they are safe for the astronauts to fly. they certify the vehicles. we're pretty sure they will be ok. host: we saw coverage when nasa ended the space shuttle program. how momentous of a shift was the? -- was that?
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guest: the space shuttle was around for a long time. it was about 30 years old and it was time for something new. nasa doesn't have and endless budget and could not build a replacement for the space shuttle until they retired it so they could use the money to build the next thing. nasa will build a vehicle to go beyond earth's orbit. industry is coming in to make things easier for nasa. nasa needs to save money and this is one way to do it without compromising safety. host: this is our week "your money" segment.
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alexander saltman is the executive director for commercial spaceflight federation. this is a part of the country that you know well. we saw footage of the nasa employees celebrating in the middle of the night. guest: i wished i could be there. host: brendan in south bend, indiana. good morning. caller: good morning. it is a business that requires a lot of capital. you need to have been out of money and rockets to get off the ground.
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suppose nasa starts getting into long term prospects with these companies so they can get up to the shuttle and go belly-up. guest: that is a good question. one of the hallmarks of this program is competitive. there are multiple companies involved. you get the efficiency that the competition brings. sometimes companies do lose out and they could go out of business. there are other companies to step in.
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initially there were two winners and had to raise enough capital to make sure they could deliver for nasa. one was not able to raise their capital. nasa said they would do another competition to replace them. there are many companies willing to step up to be part of the program. nasa pays for all the cost of the development, regardless of what happens. it was a failure on the part of the company but it was a success for the model. host: good morning. you are on the program. caller: hi. i'm not entirely at all for the nasa program. i do not think it has done anything for our country that i can tell.
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people can take away the ungodly laws that we have. we're killing some many babies every year. host: are you opposed to the exploration program in general? caller: i do not know much about what the spaceflight means. tell me one thing that going into space has done for us. host: looking for a justification of the exploration of space. guest: there are direct benefits that the technologies developed. we have seen incredible things, of those. -- things come out of those. the first use of photo cells. computer systems were developed for space vehicles that we now use.
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there are tons of spinoffs. a large number of high-tech developments have come from space. it is important that we explore, that we have a frontier. in this modern world, the world is getting smaller. it also can be constricting and it is important to have some place that we dream about, that kids and adults can dream about. host: if you like to join the conversation, republicans 202- 737-0002. democrats, 202-737-0001. independents, 202-628-0205.
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alexander saltman is executive director of the commercial spaceflight federation. here is a tweet from jim. guest: right. that is what i do not know. it is hard to know if they had done it differently. the mars exploration program is run from the jet propulsion lab in california. they proposed a major program and nasa approves it and sends it to congress. the jet propulsion lab design is the system and sends it to other parts of nasa and other parts of the jet propulsion lab and the industry to build. that is a fairly standard method for the jet propulsion lab to use.
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they need a huge amount of expertise and it is a national treasure. one of our companies is interested and doing some robotic mining. the first that would be using telescopes to look at nearby asteroid that would be a nearby target. they have a bunch of former jpl employees on staff. host: kelly from massachusetts on our independent line. caller: you said you are giving companies $1.1 billion.
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why are we giving them money to reinvent the wheel? we already have the technology to get into space. why aren't we sharing the technology? guest: the companies are using nasa's technology to get into space. the space shuttle was an incredibly capable vehicle, but was not a cheap vehicle. it had a lot capabilities that we did not need. it was a vehicle that was good for lower earth orbits. they build two capabilities to replace it. the other is to go beyond lower earth orbit, but we did do with the apollo program.
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the space shuttle was a very high-tech vehicle but it wasn't the right vehicle for where we're going now. host: here are some numbers from 2011, looking at contract awards that were given how. host: these funds were given to companies. a question from monty on twitter. guest: the commercial applications can seem far- fetched.
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if you can find water, water can be turned into fuel that you can use to power a rocket. it can be useful for exploration. you could turn it into fuel that an exploratory vehicle can be used to come back. it is possible there will be businesses in space and the local filling station may be the gas station for vehicles out there. host: daniel from florida. caller: a woman called in for a reason why the space program was important.
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i was 9 years old when kennedy announced we would be able to go to the moment in 10 years. cape canaveral at that time was so important to the issue that took place years ago. i've been reading a book by david nolan. it has a good article or section about the nasa space center and how was helped to develop over the years. two of the things that you said -- you mentioned computers. there are some other things of
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that were important that we got out of that. satellite coverage throughout the globe and to make sure our neighbors are being fair with the world. it hasn't always worked out that way. the secondary thing that almost everyone uses today is the global gps system, tells everybody were to go and makes it easier for us to bounce a satellite. we watch our tvs through satellite. we have global information that took us seconds were used to take weeks. i do not think people remember the investment we put into our country as well as to are luxuries. the world continues -- without it, become a stagnation.
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everyone of them wants to have the technology and the ability and the funding to be able to do what we do, and we do it better than anyone in the world. host: have you seen a shuttle launch yourself? caller: i've gone to cocoa beach and watched them. it is a glorious thing to see. we have lost lives. -- going to space. there are things that gore wrong thatt go these people go into it just like i go to work every day knowing i can be injured. we take on those responsibilities to leave in legacy behind four children, just like edison and einstein.
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they all left a legacy. i commend the space center. outsourcing in order to save money. it does make sense when you outsource to save money. sometimes you have to do that. host: thank you for your call. guest: that is totally right. the satellite industry is now $100 billion across the world and there are incredible applications that have come from that. we live in a different world now. i think outsourcing can confuse people. nasa is a really outsourcing. -- isn't really outsourcing.
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they're doing a different form of contracting. by using commercial industry, they will be bringing some of those jobs back. down on the space coast, there have been a lot of jobs lost as the shuttle program wound down. also in houston. it is awful for those people to lose their jobs. our companies are starting facilities in florida and in houston and elsewhere where there were a shovel jobs lost. we're still small and so we're not going to be replacing all those jobs -- where there were shuttle jobs lost.
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host: charge in colorado, democratic caller. caller: i would like to talk to you about the space program and how does that jibe with the debt that we have in this country and the amount of money that we put into space. then we're cutting off the food stamps for many of our poor people that are trying to survive. guest: well, the government has many different things it is trying to do at the food stamps program is incredibly important. i would not want people to cut that money to spend on space. spending on space is investment in the infrastructure of the company.
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it makes us stronger by encouraging our students to go into science and engineering fields. in excess, by giving us capabilities that we didn't have before ike with communications satellites and gps systems. and applications like google maps were not possible without satellite information. comparing it to other programs, i do not know how to compare apples and oranges. we do gain a lot of advantage from it. this is the type of investment that will trigger the next period of economic growth. host: how are congress and the white house looking at the money for space exploration? here is one story here from alabama.
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host: how is the wrangling going? guest: hopefully the house and senate both have their competing budgets. in many cases, i think the house and the senate and the president have recognized that the nasa budget is important and they have tried to protect it as best as they can. there have been programs that look like they are in danger including some of the robotic exploration programs, which is a shame. they have been doing the best jobs they can. we would love to see nasa funding as robust in these times.
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we're working with nasa to reduce cost, and that is a big part of what we are selling. host: getting back to the story. guest: that's right. it's sort of a good story for these days in washington. the administration work with the house to come up with a compromise on the commercial spaceflight provisions.
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not as much body as we would like. also and that there should be about 2 1/2 winners. host: wayne maryland on the republican line. caller: the weight they have privatize the space program damages the country possibility to spread the money out throughout the states and districts, which if you do that, that creates more goodwill and support throughout the program.
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the space program is one of the greatest programs the country has ever devised. by centralize a into a small group of companies that are involved in it, that is to its detriment and i'm proud of them for landing that rover last night. i think it was a great thing. i just hope that the country gets back into math and science technology groups and starts supporting that for the next generation. if we do not, we will lose a great deal of our technology in the world, which will make us less safe the long run. as far as the babies being killed, i think the baby's who died because of heart disease and lung disease because of the
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pollution, it is more a factor than we should concern ourselves than any other. we need to take care of our environment. host: why did you think the mars rover landing was so significant? caller: it shows we still have a technological ability to do such things, such marvelous things. in man's history, how could we have conceived of such a thing with in the past 50 years? these are leaps and bounds in technology that we're taking.
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it shows man's ultimate ability to strive. chicago,'s hear from bonnie, independent. caller: i did not know there was no reason for the nasa program until i hear from this man. all that could have done with out a space program. for endangering our lives with the space junk that is up there? i don't think there was a good reason that he gave. some of these callers are undercover nazi workers and we need to have a better reason than that.
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guest: i cannot agree with you there. there are doctors that can do remote medical procedures across the country or across the world over satellite connections, and i think that is a tremendous development that has been great for all of us. also there's a problem with space junk. all that is so small that whenever it enters the earth's atmosphere, it burns up and there is no risk to anybody on the ground. there have been some amazing developments from the space program. host: we have a tweet from roy. how do you keep costs under control?
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guest: right. the import thing is to keep competition. when we think about government programs that have gone over budget, in many cases there are situations where there is a contract between a contractor and the government that encourages both sides to keep the program growing larger. one of the new developments in the commercial space industry is that things are on a more commercial basis. the government pays for what it gets. if there are overruns, the company has to pay for the extra. it is a way to reduce the risk of that kind of thing happening. host: how long before we see manned space flights by commercial enterprises?
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guest: there are two types of space flights. one is orbital space flights. the other is sub orbital space flights. there are many companies that are trying to do the latter very soon now. they include virgin galactic. they think that several should be flying people, paying customers, by the end of next year. they're doing glide tests and i'm sure there will be a lot of tests before they fly people. it is pretty exciting. we could see those flights within the next 18 months. host: johnny from phoenix, arizona, welcome. caller: thank you. thank you for having me on your show.
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i am the opposite of the young lady that called earlier. my belief is that nasa has not done enough. we have not had a real manned space program since the apollo missions. there is a book called the "third industrial revolution." the key to manned space flight is the type of transportation vehicle, we have to come out with a new transportation vehicle, says the author. now we can have a serious manned spaceflight. what people will realize is there was a type of technology -- this is for real -- that was developed and did work and we could explore not only our own solar system but explore stars and going into the galaxies and galaxies.
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that is what i call a real manned spaceflight. guest: it is true that after the apollo program, i think some people were disappointed in the manned spaceflight program. they built a huge international space station, where research goes on all the time. it is pretty clear the difficulty of getting into orbit and getting people off the planet was greater than people thought and it has taken longer. all we need is a reusable vehicle. the space shuttle was designed
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to be a reusable vehicle. it had to be refurbished between flights. if every time you flew from d.c. to london is that to throw with a plane when you got there, it would be a very expensive and not many people would be doing it. all the companies interested in space flight are adjusted in making more of the vehicles reusable. host: alexander saltman has a doctorate from stanford university. now serves as executive director of the commercial spaceflight federation. we are looking at how your taxpayer dollars are spent. tom from austin, texas. caller: my name is tom.
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we had a very operational space program with the apollo program and it costs us approximately $24 billion to send the asked not to the moon. what do we do with it? we squandered it. we could've had day lunar observatory. all this kind of stuff would have been practical back then. it will cost us four times go chase this same worm again. guest: the apollo program was an amazing moment for our country. nasa was getting about 10 times as much money as it is getting now. it turned out that wasn't sustainable.
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the apollo program was an exploratory program. they were reaching out to the moon. to keep doing that, you have to have a firm base on the ground in terms of infrastructure and lower earth orbit, with the space station we have now. we are creating that space-bar, that will allow us to reach the moon again and then up into mars. we should keep in mind that the chinese have gone a lot of press recently. we still are the world leader in space and we haven't lost that lead.
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host: let's hear from anthony in baltimore, independent caller. caller: good morning. i love c-span. i am concerned. how was it that we can justify some money in the country are calling for deregulation? how can we justify the cost and then no oversight because people will say, private companies do their own thing. it is our money being spent. guest: i do not think there's much risk of the no oversight problem in space. there are several other agencies that are interested in space and to work with our companies to make sure everything is ok.
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there is an office that regulates space launches and that is an important thing. whenever companies are doing nasa's business, nasa goes over with a fine tooth comb to make sure the taxpayers are getting as much as they can for their dollars. like a color of few moments ago brought all -- a caller a few moments ago brought up the space race. how is the private industry changing things? is the private industry unifying it more, or is there still of battles -- a battle?
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>> it is less intense than it was 04. -- before. they are too big. we are using teams that include europeans and russians and others, so to that extent there has been more corp., less competition. we do not have gothat competitin with the chinese. they have their own goal. there are also commercial entities in other countries, and they have some of the same questions as we do about how we do it while leaving the part that needs to be done by governments. >> thank you for coming. >> in a few moments, the opening meeting of the democratic
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national committee, platform drafting committee. in a little more than two hours, nasa's briefing on the mars rover, curiosity. then a commercial space flight. good we will be joined tomorrow by a bloomberg growth corridor c -- by the bloomberg reporter cheyenne hopkins. we will take your calls, and then the conversation on online courses. live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> sunday, thought look for our q&a with andrew nagorski.
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>> my correspondents were diplomats in berlin. i had not spent a lot of time thinking what it would be like to be a correspondent in the 1920's or the 1930's. how would you have operated? what would you have noticed? how would you have reacted? >> sunday at 8 on c-span's "q&a." the political parties are holding their hearings with democrats voting on final recommendations in detroit. republicans start their process at the tampa convention site. c-span complete coverage begins monday, august 27 with the national convention in tampa and the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina star thing tuesday,
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september 3. >> the democratic platform drafting committee met in annapolis in july. ted strickland is responsible for an initial draft that will be considered this weekend. this part of the first day is two hours. >> before we begin, let us rise and say the pledge of allegiance to our flag. please join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which a sense, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. please be seated. i want to thank each of you for joining us today. i know we are excited to be here
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and to tackle this important task that we have before us. as you may know, every four years the demratic party assembles a platform that outlines our party's final positions on a host of different issues. this document also highlights the administration's accomplishments and the president's agenda to keep our country moving in a forward direction. today we are having our formal meeting where we will begin the process of drafting the initial draft of our 2012 platform. before we get started, i would like to ask all of the drafti committee members to just take a moment introde themselves, and we will begin at my left. andrew grossman. >> i am the assistant policy
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director at the obama campaign. >> carlos odio. >> professor at stanford law school. >> donna harri-aikens. >> i am deputy chief of staff at the afl-cio. , barbara lee, ninth congressional district of california. >> michael nutter, mayor of the city of philadelphia. >> i am the secretary of the democratic national committee. >> i had the privilege of serving in congress from the state florida and currently serve as president of the center
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for middle east peace. the'm a senior fellow at center of transatlantic relations, johns hopkins university. >> i'm heather miller. >> patrice taylor. >> and i am helping to write the platform. >> and i am ted strickland, former governor of ohio. it is my pleasure to serve with such remarkable people, and i am certain that your expertise will be invaluable as we proceed with this important task. there are members who were not able to join us today. tony coelho, governor patrick --
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governor deval patrick, the chair of the 2008 platform committee, and we know that the governor is a leading voice for making the country better place to live, work, and raise a family. then there is congressman barney frank, who was unable to join us at this time, congressman frank will be able to join us later today. also seated with us are three individuals giving staff support throughout this weekend. you have heard from them, andrew in, and patrice taylore. patrice is the rector of the dnc office a party affairs and
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delegate selection. also joining us is a very important person, and i will depend on our parliamentaans, mcfaddene, who will help us as we negotiate our way to this platform. the purpose of this heari is to solicit testimony from individuals and organizations regarding the content of the party's 2012 national platform. each speaker will be given five minutes, and i will repeat that. each speaker will be given five minutes for a formal statement, and following those statements, there will be a period of questions that will come from the committee members themselves. we had a busy and a compact
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hearing scheduled for the day. each presentation will be aimed, and will be times, and the speaker should adjust their remarks, please, to fit that time schedule. we are now ready to begin with our first preseer, and it is my great pleasure to present as our first presenter sister simone campbell. are pleased to have her who is the executive director of network catholic social justice lobby. she is with us, and network 's thousands of members it work to influence and next -- and inspire our elected officials is. network is active in critical issues such as health care,
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comprehensive immigration reform, housing, poverty, and hunter. sister, we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. i want to say at this moment in our history it seems to me we are engaged in a struggle that is much bigger than just the election cycle, and i think the platform needs to reflect that. we are engaged in a struggle for the soul of our nation, and the choice to me is clear -- will we choose to continue the unpatriotic lies we as a nation are based in its extreme individualism, where those who have can claim even more, and where those who do not have are blamed for being irresponsible? or will we choose to return to the spirit of our founders and a brace their concept -- we the people. it is we the people thats our constitutional framework,
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promoted for more than 200 years, and it is this vision that must be made clear creek get a vision where each person exercises their responsibility to participate,nd as the president said, we each agree to have each other's backs. this means we have the internet connections and our society. no one can get wealthy without the work of thousands of other fellow citizens. it is a hot political topic, but no one can even get to work without the work of people who have built roads or mattress. the janitor and the ceo's office -- we are interdependent.
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helluva -- we are one nation together, and this time is desperate we realize that. so far, we have been fairly successful at being divided by fear of violence, the weak economy, fear of the future, fear of each other. fear drives us to individualism and isolation as we try to ntrol the uncontrollable. but i as a christian know that jesus counseled fear not, these are the words that we need to believe. recently y may have heard i lead a nine-state bus tour to 31 communities to lift up the works of catholic sisters, speaking out against the ryan house budget, and demonstrate what it means to have each other's backs. the matt hunters of people hungry, learning to find a way out of fear, not just words or
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games. we saw one of four partnerships were catholic sisters and their collaborators used federal dollars as cornerstones for amazing work in low-income communities, and we saw a person after person, group after group who have benefited from these amazing programs and who are not intruders that everywhere we saw evidence that these responsible programs use reasonable federal money to serve the needs and create relationships that nourished communities. these are the sorts of responsible will press responsible partnerships. i came to know a large percentage of folks served by these programs are working at least one job. they are not the unemployed or the lazy that many would want us to think they are. they are hardworking people trying to serve their families. many fe the situation that billy in milwaukee faces. he has enough food in his down
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sized salary to either put food on the table or a roof over his head. his family's had. he and his wife chose to refer to the families of the kid could stay in the same school. every evening they could to send -- st. benedict's danny room where they get nutritious food, and what you might say the dining room was getting sherry, they were also getting a subsidy. . . additional families qualify for the tax credit. these are programs that allow families to live and employers to pay low wages.
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i prefer a living wage, but in the absence of a living wage, these tax rebates are what keep people out of poverty, and we must support them. even more heart wrenching is the story i heard from margaret. she would not be covered by cobra. the expansion is a pro-length choice, and caring for those our economy leaves out, but margaret did not have the option, so at 56 she died of colon cancer, and her family came to our of land directly from -- to our even
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directly from our memorial service. this is not who we are as a nation. we support life as a nation. we need to learn this program is a mutual benefit for all levels of society. we all do better when margarets do not die. e nation our founders envision, we must be held by the decisions we made. this means we each have to he an obligation to contribute buildingp our society. to do this, merous have each other's back. this is what it means to form a more perfect union. we've taken step towards this vision in the last four years. we have much further to go. all of us participate and contribute according to our ability. with that truth we will know we the people are alive and well.
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then we would have rereclaimed the soul of our nation. thank you. >> thank you sister. at this time, if there are questions from community members, we would be happy to entertain those questions. anyone? >> thank you so much. it's wonderful to see you. i was taught by the sisters of loretta. the values you enunciated are the democratic party values. thank you so much for being here. one question i wanted to ask in terms of those in the middle class. in this day in time, we seen so many people falling in the ranks of poverty. when we talk about the middle class, how do see us making sure this big tent party includes those who have not achieved
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middle class status but still want to see the american dream become real in their life? >> i think it's very important that we realize we're in this together and that the huge wealth disparities that exist at this point are driving us further and further apart. i think it's shocking that ceo salaries have gone up so dramatically where workers wages have stayed flat. if we're going to be seriously concerned about making sure people are in the middle class, they need to have salary increases. we need to pay a living " wage. everybody is working very hard to contribute something -- at least all the folks we m -- are contributing something to our society. but there isn't the valuing of that by employers or under the guys of the fragile economy couldn't possibly raise wages.
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to be effective in stimulating the economy and some of the programs that have been proposed, are all about lifting up increasing wes, get money to where there's pent-up deands. if there's pent-up demand, mention will -- folks will spend the money. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. thank you sister for your testimony. you mentioned a living wage a couple times. it's a really important concept in ter of the two different visions of the economy. could you talk a little bit what you think might be the steps for the united states to move towards a decent wage for working people? >> i think a crystal ball will be helpful to discern the details of that. we think that work is
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undervalued. physical labor is under valued. that understanding what each person contributes to the success of a business and creating kind of a proportional wage based on how much they're contributing might be helpful or even examining how much is cost to live. one ofhe things that's driving me nuts is that the current poverty level is still pegged at three times the cost of food. that probably defines the poverty level. the administration is trying to do sole alternative measures but the one that keeps being used in congress is the three tes the cost of food. there's no accounting to what's happening to the cost of housing. let's have wages reflect actual cost in an area. having a youthful minimum wage for this country that's so
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diverse in cost of living, it may make for congress nice political fights but it certainly doesn't help in the different parts that families face. valuing work, being realistic about the different costs of living and then trying to really do something to peg reasonable salaries to inflation or to other escalators would make a lot of since. maybe everybody ought to get a piece of the action not just shareholders. >> thank you sister. i think speak for a of us. when we want to say thank you for your leadership, your moral leadership and those of the other sisters who are working across our country to try to make this a better land in which all people can enjoy the american dream.
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thank you so very much for being here. >> thank you so much. >> our next presenter is mr. doug peterson. representing the national farmers union. doug peterson is the secretary of the national farmers union board and he is the president of the minnesota farmers union. national farmers union is a national federation of state farmers unions which protect and enhances the economic well being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers and their communities by promoting legislation and educational beneficial to farmers and by developing cooperative buying and selling methods for these businesses. we're very happy to have you here and we look forward to your testimony sir. >> i'm honored chairman and also honored to be in front of an esteemed committee.
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i just want to thank you for your time and allowing me to in front of you for national farmers union. my name is doug peterson. i come from western minnesota first generation farmers. we have 11,000 members also secretary of the national farmers union. i served in minnesota's legislature for six terms undefeated and elected to the minnesota farmers union presidency which i've done for ten years. i'm a former art teacher. we are really proud we're a grassroots organization. we've been in active policy sense 1902. our policy is written by farmers and ranchers and it comes fm a grassroots level. we represent fishermen.
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our national and agriculture policy should engable farmers to increase significantly their income and improve the quality of life and increase the family farm numbers. production agricultural, i like to call it farmers, it's a primary economic driver of america. when farmers go well, agriculture prospers and the nation prospers. a more effective in fiscal responsible safety net is possible which will mitiga against weather and we are in the throws of drought. two-thirds of our country presently mitigate the weather and bad prices. crop insurance does a very good job of protectg farmers against poor yields and also assist in managing supply, stable commodities, could
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subsidize prices. grain will take the props of the peak of the price off and fill in the valleys which will help farmers which have been livestock producers, the bfuels and customers. supply management will make sure farmers receive the bulk of the revenue even in tough times from the market and not from government payments. a voluntary farmer reserve that operates under market forces during normal condition by moderates prices at extreme conditions that would allow these goals to be obtained. we are in extreme conditions ladies and gentlemen as you may know. beyond the market and weather anomalies and other threats faces rural america, average age of the u.s. farmer is rapidly increasing. the ability of the next generation to family farmers to continues t produce food and fiber is critical to the economic health and security of our nation and community. in order to address this
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concern, programs must be in place and funded in order to meet the unique needs. with special emphasis on military veteran and ensure enter livelihood. one thing we want to impress upon, inadequate market competition. that does go with the word concentration. that is what the most pressing issue is facing farmers and ranchers across this country. personally what i have see in the '80s with the competition and the concentration piece. we need fairness and we need
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transparency and protection for bargaining rights for producers and farmers. the administration has bn proactively investigating anti-trust violation and has held a series of workshops in 2010 that shed light on the issues. rules that would have better enforce the packers and stockyard act put forward but largely pushed back by lobbies andackers association. progress has been made in the last four years but much work still needs to be done to establish a fair marketplace. the sustainability of our economy both nationwide and in agriculture depends upon reliable financial system. despit the passage of dodd-frank act, the budget proposals maintaining fair air competitive market including
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commodity trading. the administration also has fought back republican attempts to undermine the new protections. the rules of the game has been strengthened but the referees need to make sure those rules are followed and make sure there is a fair -- i just want to say, you got to be able to play by the rules. national farmers continues to support strong actns to address the cause and consequenc of climate change. we are the original stewards of land farmers. over the past several years, we have experienced increase in drought. wildfires and other evidence associated with climate change. one solution to our climate change problem is to mitigation. national farmers union supports carbon emission cab and trade system to reduce non-farm
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greenhouse gas emission. such a system constructed correctly holds tremendous promise for our country economic incentives. thus engaging in protecting future generations. while it is necessary to address the causes of employment change -- climate change our nation must adapt to change. given the proper inceives, family farmers and ranchers will be valuable partners in this challenge. the potential of our nation's vast agriculture lands produce renewable energy is tremendous. the enomic benefits also to rural america. we need a balanced energy policy, a policy that seeks energy independence by 2025 and recognizing the special needs of
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american agricultural and its potential contribution. we at national farmers union strongly support rfs, renewable fuel stewards. we are making progress with investments in flex fuel technology but we must continue to explore the way to bri to the market more biofuels particularly the advanced blends. in order to meet the goals of the r.f.s. by 2022, we must continue to move in direction to reduce dependence on foreign oil. sound policy in the future of graduate -- agriculture will set us up for economic development. ladies and gentlemen i
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apprecie your attention. if you have any questions, i will be happy to answer >> we have a couple minutes for questions. >> mr. peterson, thank you for your testimony. i group up in a small town. i know what a difference it makes as well. i wanted to ask you a little bit what you think the roll of our schools can be. of course we've got tremendous commitment making sure that america has great education no matter where but rural schools also facing challenges. >> i actually been in the classroom for 12 years. i see the diminished funding as probably one of the most critical and most dangerous things that you can do to the american education. we don't provide adeqte funding per pupil and the means to learn, we will have a failed society. we can't dummy down on education. how do you get that done? you make sure that the economy will be able to support the
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schools at the local level so that in rural america, you need to have a policy that will allow the taxes to be paid by those farmers that are making the money. the majority of the land is in rural america basically land-based taxes which supports the schools. funding, they're from the state and fed or local property taxes and then make sure that you don't skimp on this stuff. it hasn't changed anything. minnesota is woefully adequate. we are low in counselors in this state for students we need to put more money too those -- into those thing. we experienced education cuts. the bottom line is, they
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actually reduced educational funding. you can't reduce education funding and expect kids to learn. >> thank you mr. peterson. we appreciate your testimony and i personally love the farmers union. we have a union ohio farmers union and thank you for this testimony. >> have a good day. >> one more question from the mayor over here. >> mr. peteon, you maid as a -- you made reference to feeding theungry around the world. it is certainly more than appropriate for the united states of america to help in a variety of instances whether it's a disaster or other aid that we provide. but i'm also concerned that we continue to feed the hungry across our country. i wanted to get your views on issue of the delivery system that helps to get food where it is most needed.
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there are children and parent who go to sleep every nightn america who areungry. conessional districts in the united states is in philadelphia. i want to make sure that we're focused on the issue of hunger in america and seek to eliminate hunger in the united states as we continue to provide the food and support around the world. >> firstf all, the funding is about 72%. we need to make sure there's not cuts in nutrition. the delivery system is having the ability to make sure children and seniors, that nutrition program provides that it's adequately funded. there's going to be increases as you know in your city, for more food, more snap programs and the delivery system. the food desserts where you have
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the poor cityings, the inability to have farm fresh food. that has to change. you have to change the mentality of how the infrastructure works delivering it to inner cities. you must have incentives for farmers to do local foods. in not local then from the state and then if not from the state, then from the united states. if you can't get it from the local from state to the united states, maybe we can do the importing. just making sure that infrastructure is part t the nutrition piece. i don't know if you thought about that yet, but just getting that delivered to those food deserts in your city or minneapoli we all experience those food desserts and local food is part of that. that's a part of our policy. >> we don't want to keep anyone from asking questions that maybe aquestion. we want to stay on track if we
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can. is there in the question and if so, we'll entertain it and if not, thank you sir. >> thank you very much, have a good day and good luck with all your deliberations. >> our nxt presenter is ethan rome. ethan rome is the ecutive director of the healthcare for america now. it's a national coalition of more than 1000 gups from 50 states representing some 30 million people. healthcare for america now works to promote, dfend, implement and improve the affordable care act at the state and federal levels. they work to protect medicare and medicaid. they work to increase corporate accountability and confront forces that seek to take away critical services. so mr. rome, we are happy to have you an we look forward to your testimony.
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>> thank you very much governor strkland and members of the committee. thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak this afternoon. as you know, in008, president obama and the democrats pledged to fix our broken healthcare system. that is exactly what they did. a remarkable thing in politics. on march 23, 2010, the president signed the affordable care act. the aca, the law which we call obamacare, is a monumental achievement that moves us closer to achieving the justice that is the promise of america. as you know, i think the law spans coverage to 30 million people. it brings peace of mind to middle class family who are just
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one injury or illness from crushing medical cost. itakes healthcare more accessible in rural and urban areas. it put us on a path to controlling cost at a first time ever. the a.c.a. is improving medicare for seniors. saving them hundred of dollars a year in prescription drug cost. 's allowing young people to stay on their parents health plan. it's giving small businesses tax cuts to provide care for their own employees. it's helping all of us to be more healthy with no cost to preventive care. significantly on august 1st, this benefit expands to cover additional services for women. the a.c.a. bans distribution to 129 million people with preexisting conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. it ends insurance companies price gouging and other abuses like dropping you when you are sick. the affordable care act is the
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most sweeping piece of social and economic justice legislation since medicare and medicaid. these programs all fit together along with the labor movement, medicare and medicaid and social security helps create the middle class. they are the foundation of economic security and equal opportunity for america's families. the a.c.a. bridges the gaps in the protections of these programs. to help ensure that everyone getshe care that they need without risking bankruptcy. it is these vital programs that under attack by the republicans and ryan-romney budget. the republican plan would repeal the affordable care act dismantle medicaid and end medicare as we know to pay for corporate tax cut give away d tax cuts for the rich. every federal function would be slashed. the nation's entire safety net at risk. their budget promotes prosperity
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for the few instead of opportunity for all. it says we should be on our own. it makes a mockery of shared responsibility. the country faces real fial challenges. but the ryan-romney budget represents the prong priorities. it's a second rate plan for a rst rate country. the democratic platform must explicitly reject the republican prescription for deficit reduction. that puts medicare, medicaid and the affordable care act on the chopping block especially to pay for tax cuts for the rich. the republican see every deficit negotiation as an opportunity to chip away at these programs. republicans want to turn medicaid into a block grant. replace medicare with vouchers.
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the democratic platform should say we don't want to do any of these things. not as part of a so called grand bargain guru a lame duck session or at any other time. democrats believe that medicare, medicaid and obamacare are not source of deficit reduction. either the backbone of the -- they are the backbone of the american dream. as president said we need to reduce th deficit in fair and balanced way. we should begin by reforming our tax code so it raises adequate revenue and start with asking wealthy americans to pay their fair share and closing corporate tax loophole. that's precisely what majority leader reid and the democrats in the senate did this week when they voted to end the busch -- bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. president obama has called on the house to do the same. it will be on the way to his desk if it were speaker pelosi instead of boehner who were in
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charge. this isn't just a matter of principle. it's how we faiy pay some important things like the affordable care act. he 2008 democratic platform outlines a bold vision for affordable quality health coverage for l americans. it's remarkable read this document and look at what has been accomplished since. in the battles ahead, democrats must protect the healthcare program. thank you very much. >> thank you mr. rome for your testimony and now are there questions? i see a question. >> yes thank you for coming. could you talk little bit more about how the a .c. and how the safety net actually rt kids they are preparing to go into school and obviously a.c.a. helped them stay on their
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parent's health plan. >> there's two things to say about that. the first when we talk about adult children, the a.c.a. allows as you know, for adult children to stay on their parents health plan from 19 to 26. in th economy, that is a critical protection since it is harder for people to find jobs. as for children, one of the -- two most important thing you can do is to make sure they do to school not hungry and not unhealthy. that's what medicaid is about and that's what's filling in the gaps what the a.c.a. does. >> thank you. >> yes. >> thank you ethan for your testimony. it you tell us a little bit, you
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spoke briefly about the a.c.a. on the budget deficit. >> i know it's shocking that the republicans periodically do not tell the truth about things. one of the biggest places is the affordable care act. the affordable care act reduces the deficit. most recently cbo said about $83 billion over the next ten years. it is a federal savings program in addition to a program that saves people's lives and helps businesses stay open. it's critically important when the republicans talk about repealing it but they do not talk about the fact that would increase rather than reduce the federal deficit. >> thank you so much for being here and for all you've done overthe last four years. can you talk a little bit what repeal of the affordable care act would mean to middle class
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families across the country? >> for middle class families, people really are one injury or one illness away from bankruptcy. people learn -- they learn in the fine print of their policy that theirenefits are caed annually. they learn when they get dropped, that their insurance doesn't cover what they thought. for middle class family, this is about making sure that people have the healthcare that they need. it's about making sure people aren't locked into their job because just because they want to keep their healthcare. the best thing has been done for entrepreneurs in the last two years. one of the best thing is the affordable care act. it makes it possible for people to take risks. for middle class family, this is a vital protection and it's the base for economic security.
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>> thank you very much for your testimony and your passion to ensure every american has access to affordable healthcare. also a.c.a. provides for creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in addition to deficit reduction. could you comment however on the impact of the a.c.a. as it relates to the huge ethnic and racial disparities that we see now, even when you look at life expectancy rates, there's still these huge disparities that need to be addressed and how the a .c.a. will really help address many of these issues? >> everyday people learn new things about the affordable care act. because it is so comprehensive in what it does. one ever the thing i always use as abexample, there's
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$12 billionn funding for community health centers. which people only exist in urban areas. but it's one of the central ways that folks in rural areas get the care they need. providing people insurance is not enough as you know well. we need to make sure people have access to care. $12bilon to expand and build new community health centers is good example what this law does. if that was all we did, we would be celebring and talking about that now. there are more things we can do to address racial and other disparities. especially in health outcome. we are on long way from that and that's something we all have to work on. >> robert? >> with respect to seniors, would you just maybe take a moment to point out often times people talk about the closing of
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the donut hole in the bill. could you maybe share your experience in terms of what the benefit will be to seniors across the board byhe closing of this donut hole? >> i believe the number right now, there are several million people who have saved on average of $600 a year already under the affordable care act. when we talk about how the affordable care act is already changing people's lives in the case of seniors, we're talking about discounts on prescription drugs and we're talking about the checks they received under the donut hole. seniors have to make choices about whether to put food on the table. do they get the care they need. this law already heping to make a difference in people's lives
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in that respect. >> thank you. >> you acknowledged the 2008 platform which spoke eloquently to healthcare. i actually have the 2004 and the 00 platform. nonetheless what's so exciting about this accomplishmt is for many cycles some of us participated too many of them, we have talked about healthcare but we've never actually accomplished this amazing dream. i'm wondering if you expand a little bit though. i'm excited about some of the preventive aspects and possibility not only for our citizens to be healthier but also for the potential of money saving for our entire economy by having a healthier citizenry and having longer lives and less pressure on some of our social
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afety net. >> i think -- one of the most signifant things, this goes back to question about military class -- middle class family. there are 86 million of us in america who have benefited from middle class preventive care. we are no longer paying co-pays on our preventive care. that will make a substantial difference not just in people's lives but it improves health tcomes. prevention saves money. it not just about dng the right thing. one of the most important thing at we can do in the united states is to improve our preventive care so that we don't have among the worst outcomes of industrialized natis with the best medical care on the earth.
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>> other questions? well, ethan obviously your testimony has sparked a lotf interest. we thank you for you and we thank you for the good work you've been doing for the benefit of the nation. not only the democratic party but the nation. thank you so very much. >> thank you. >> our next presenter is mr. david harris. david harris is the president and the ceo of the national jewish democratic counsel. the national jewish democratic counsel focuses on educating democratic officials and candidates to increase their support for jewish domestic and foreign policy priorities. david, we're happy to have you and we look forward to your testimony >> thank you so much governor. good afternoon my name is david harris and i'm president and ceo of the jewish democratic national counsel. the core mission is to maximize
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jewish support. the united states and the democratic partyhas been a strong support of the u.s. and israel relationship. democratic platforms celebrated this important relationship. like wise, president obama has presided over a foreign policy based no small part based on special nation and importance with america's ties in israel. our uique relationship isen breakable commitment to security and common interest. as the president said, israel is ready to defend itself, so has the democratic party's platform ear after year. this year should be to different. four years ago, this party produced a platform that served as a blueprint for the president's platform.
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we should be well served to stick closely to a previous platform language and principles to be updatednd expanded as necessary. as the new platform is drafted, weshould recognize the important role israe established democracy. as we seek to encourage democracy, we should also expand and strengthen our relationship with israel and work towards full integration into the middle east. it must be our expectation that new governments will commit to new governments will commit to
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on iran, the president obama has more extensive iran continues its program and continues to be a threat to the u.s. and our allies. u.s. and our allies. efforts to meaningful engage and it is closer to nuclear weapon than ever before. we support actions by the president in congress to impose tougher sanctions. we must restate our policy that we will do everything necessary to prevent iran from producing a nuclear weapon. president obama said i will take no otion off the table. that includes all elements of the america's perfect. members
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of our community strongly support of the broader issues of the democratic party. there's no demographic group today more pro-choice than our community. 90% of our community suppts reproductive rights. the 2008 party platform was clear when it said, the democratic party strongly support roe v. wade and woman's right to choose safe and legal abortion. these words speak loudly and clearly to my community and stockily encourage you to reiterate and strengthen them of women's health services and providers in america. the american jewish community has been deeply frustrated by the war on real science. including among those who deny
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human contributions to global climate change. the words of our platform were received by american jews. myommunity is one of many that looks to our party for leadership on this issue and i ask that you reiterate the essential call. my community was also tremendously part of the discuss that president obama waged to successfully pass historic healthcare reform for our country. great weight was given to this vital and significant updated language should be afforded to this issue in the new platform. it is yet to be done to ensure that tens o million of americans receive the govern that they deserve. one other issue that president obama did is the ongoing fight for marriage equality. this is an essential issue of liberty and i'm hoping it will be squarely addressed in our party's platform.
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the american jewish community is more suppoive of marriage equality than any other faith community with approximately 80% supporting it. i' hoping in keeping with the president's support, our party will anchor the right to marriage equality. i'm deeply honored by the opportunity to testify bfore you today. i'm glad to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you david and are there questions? >> david thank you for your testimony and it's good to see you again. words are cheap so it's good to know this is a president that kind of followed through on previous statements and
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platforms unprecedented support for israel. standing up to israel at the u.n. this president's accomplishments in term of keeping his word on the unbreakable commitment to security israel. it's pretty clear for folks. i'm wonder if you can flush out one thing. it wasn't touched on quite in your testimony. events changing so quick. could you speak a little bit how see the peace play into israel future security well as their identity as a jewish and democratic state? >> sure this is obviously somethi t president spent a great deal of time working on directly. it's something the visors responsibility -- spent a lot of time. it's something we've heard israel's democratic prime minsteryi